The Power Programmer: 7 Ways To Save Time When Planning Your Training


Time moves quite fast, doesn’t it!? In fact it moves at 60 minutes per hour and as a coach it probably seems like there simply isn't enough to get everything done in a day: managing work schedules, practice plans, athlete's individual needs, programming workouts, cleaning the gym, personal stuff, and the list could go to the bottom of this page but you get the point.

Every minute counts.

In this article I’ll point out 7 things that will save you time and help you more efficiently deliver your program to your athletes.

If you aren't currently using TrainHeroic, you can click here to start your 14-day trial.

Power Principle 1: Stand on the Shoulders of Expert Coaches

What’s the hardest thing to do in any business?....

C’mon, think about it…

The absolute hardest thing to do in any business is to build your own team, and more accurately, the right team of “A-Players.”

What if you could have the world’s best Olympic lifting coach on your staff? How about a CrossFit Games athlete and world-class gymnastics coach, or 12-year NFL veteran and founder of CrossFit Football and Power Athlete HQ on your staff?

TrainHeroic’s marketplace gives you that opportunity. What if your “About Us” page looked like this...


Even better, imagine not having to rack your brain to create the perfectly periodized training program and instead having the work already done for you.

By leveraging TrainHeroic’s marketplace, all you need to do is decide when you want the program to start and click “go", and you can get back to more important tasks, like Rob Grupe, owner of Twice Bitten CrossFit did:

"I used to spend hours programming for my athletes. It's my job to put them on a plan so that they make steady progress and I take that responsibility seriously.

Here's the thing, I wasn't creating anything earth-shattering and I definitely wasn't doing myself justice by recreating the wheel. The tragedy in all of this is that I was spending hours each week away from my family and away from more important aspects of my business to create programming.

I wish I had been using TrainHeroic's marketplace since day 1 and I recommend them to all of my coaching buddies."

Click here browse the TrainHeroic Marketplace.

Power Principle 2: Use TrainHeroic's Proven Programs

When TrainHeroic was founded in 2012, the vision was to deliver elite training programs to coaches and athletes around the globe. We’ve grown quite a bit over the years and our approach has changed dramatically.

We’ve learned that simply providing a platform for coaches to deliver their expert training programs provides more value for coaches and athletes in many cases but there are a couple of programs that come with all Elite TrainHeroic accounts and they’re programs that you can leverage today with your athletes.

The Explosive Athlete program (EAP) and the Heroic Athlete Program (HAP) are two programs that you’ll have access to from inside of your CoachHeroic account.

While the Explosive Athlete program is designed for the high school athlete, the Heroic Athlete program is a general strength program. Both are excellent programs designed by outstanding coaches and both programs can be added to your calendar with just a few clicks.

Looking for something that perfectly fits your needs? Start by adding one of the EAP or HAP cycles to your calendar and then make changes as you see fit. Whether you’re simply tweaking the schedule to accommodate a short week, or you’re substituting movements within the program, starting with a program that is waiting for you can save you time and energy, and who knows, it might just be the perfect program for your athletes. 

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Power Principle #3: Get Coached By Our Performance Team

We’re firm believers in deliberate practice. In fact, we use deliberate practice at the core of our products and process at TrainHeroic.

Simply put, deliberate practice is a method used to achieve mastery that looks something like this.

  1. Set a Goal
  2. Receive Expert Instruction
  3. Perform Structured Training
  4. Get Immediate Feedback

If your goal is to save time programming, let us deliver expert instruction. Our Performance Team would LOVE to talk with you, learn about your needs, and walk you through exactly how you should best leverage TrainHeroic to build and deliver your programs.

97% of our top customers signed up for a 1:1 training session with our Performance team to ask questions and learn from the folks that built this beast…. Us!

Click here to pick a time that fits your schedule.

If you’re into learning solo, I still encourage you to step outside of your comfort zone so we can help. I’m confident we’ll give immediate feedback that will save you time and help you accomplish your goal.

And in the meanwhile, here is a webinar that one of our Founders, Josh Sutchar, put on for our coaches that will get you up to speed too. Fast-forward to the 3-minute mark since that’s where he begins.

Power Principle #4: Only Do It Once!

If you’re building a program from scratch, save the entire program, specific workouts, and even sections within your workouts that we call favorites.

If you’re rebuilding the same stuff time and time again, you ain’t doing it right and we can help save you time.

First, start by building a template program. Template programs allow you to build weeks of programming that are not date-specific. The entire program is saved and you can simply assign your program to a team’s calendar with just a few clicks. You can re-assign the program over and over again, and you can even make changes to a team’s calendar, altering the program for that team, based on schedules, limitations, etc.

When you have an entire workout that you would like to reuse, save it as a template. This saved workout template can be reused again and again. Just like a program, you may also make adjustments to the workout once you add it to the calendar if you need to adjust the weight, reps or replace a movement. Your template is just a starting point and it’s an excellent way to save some time when building workouts.


Favorites allow you to save a specific section to be reused later. Perhaps you have a few go-to warm-ups. Build each one in TrainHeroic and save them as favorites. You can now access these warm-ups and quickly insert them into a new workout.

Do you ever run the same exact session within a single month? If so, you can save lots of time by copying sessions over to another day. Maybe you run the same workouts on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Perhaps the movements stay the same, there is some meaningful progression in load week over week.

Simply copy your session and make adjustments as needed. Instead of starting from scratch, copying a session makes an exact copy of a previous workout so you can use that as a starting point.

Copying sessions will save you time!

Power Principle #5: Leverage Our Library

Have you spent hours linking a spreadsheet to videos on the internet so that your athletes know what to do in a workout, and importantly, how to do it?

TrainHeroic’s library has over 700 movements with videos and points of performance.  And, each movement in TrainHeroic’s library is attached to “Points of Performance” and an instructional video and you have access to them all.

Of course you can add to your exercise library at anytime. Whether you’re searching for a movement that just isn’t in our library yet or you want to re-create the Back Squat, you can quickly create your own exercises, attach your own points of performance, and even add a link for a video from YouTube or Vimeo.

When you create a new movement in the library, that movement is saved permanantly to your library. No other coach has access to it but you, and the next time you want to program a Superman Rock, bam, there it is so you can simply hit “enter,” add it to your workout, and move on to the next.

Power Principle #6: Take Advantage of Text-Only

You might be familiar with programming workouts in a format that looks like this:


Here’s the thing, although this can be setup quickly by simply typing into MS Word or Excel, there’s not a lot of tracking or analytics on the back-end.

TrainHeroic won’t track every set and every rep when programming workouts like this but sometimes, that’s just fine.

Here is what I mean…

Sure, if you’re programming 3x5 Back Squats today, or a max set of Bench press, you’ll want to program the workout by adding “sets and reps” so that we can track everything your athletes are doing in their training. We’ll even update 1 rep maxes based on their performance, journalize their sets and reps, and make calculations on their behalf. Pretty smooth, huh!?

But there are many instances when you don’t need all of that.

Instead, you simply need a quick and easy way to instruct them to complete a warmup, some skill and drills, or a quick cool-down.

Here is a general rule that I suggest our coaches follow if you want to create a clean experience for your athletes while saving time creating your training program.

If you want to track every set and every rep, select that option from the workout builder for a particular section in your workout.


If tracking sets and reps isn’t vital, like in a warmup, cooldown, and even a metcon (you can still track time, reps, rounds, etc. via a leaderboard!), then program text-only.

You can also add videos to text-only sections to instruct athletes on what a particular movement is or simply to remind them how to do it. With text-only programming, you have the freedom to make the instructions as simple or detailed as you’d like.

Most-importantly, text-only programming will save you a ton of time!

Power Principle #7: Auto-Publish E'rrything

Sometimes you don’t want your athletes to look ahead at workouts and it can be time consuming and inconvenient to log in and publish one session at a time.

If you find yourself manually publishing workouts that you have already built-- STOP! It’s time to start using auto-publish. Our auto-publish feature allows you to schedule a time for your workouts to be published automatically so that you don’t need to waste time logging in just to publish a single workout.

If you like to get things done ahead of time, program a week or an entire month worth of workouts and set the system to auto-publish for you.

Well, there you have it.

I’ve given you enough fire power to be dangerous and now you’re probably brainstorming what you’ll do with that extra time on your hands.

Keep in mind that our team is here for you every step along the way too.

If you’ve got specific questions or just want our team to review your work, we’ve got you covered.

You can get in touch with our Performance team by emailing us at or by calling us anytime: 855-688-5438.

About The Author

Chelsey was born and raised in Boulder, Colorado. A big fan of the ocean, she was drawn to San Luis Obispo, California where she graduated from California Polytechnic University. Her love of hiking, biking and the mountains brought her back to Colorado. In her free time Chelsey is also an amateur photographer and likes to spend time with friends and family.