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From Principle to Practice

The better your program design skills, the better programs you can make in less time.

Karsten's physiological and anatomical knowledge is fantastic. We should all
(as fitness professionals) strive to add this kind of scientific background to
even our most "basic" of clients.

Jon Gardhouse, CPTN-CPT
Woodbridge, ON

What's the Job? You Have to Take the Client Through a Program.

“What are we doing today? Legs?” 

This little “conversation” between a trainer and a client really happened and was relayed to me by a colleague. 

What is interesting about the conversation is that the question was posed by THE TRAINER, not the athlete/client. The trainer had no program! 

Regardless of how it is created - in advance or on the spot - and communicated - written or verbal - the JOB is to take the athlete-client through a program. 

Not all strength coaches/personal trainers have a lot of time to create programs in advance. A few years ago a personal trainer told me, "My personal training manager says that I should be able to do the program on the fly." 

This personal trainer inspired the Periodization Simplified: How To Use The Flexible Periodization Method on The Fly.

“Insanity” is defined as doing the same thing, yet expecting a different result. Thus, when the athlete/fitness
client stops making progress, one or more aspects of the program should change and there is a NEW Period.

the_class-1.jpgTeaching Periodizaton Principles Through Practical Examples. 
University of Copenhagen2nd year Exercise Physiology students

You Can't Avoid Periodization,
But You Have Freedom In How To Apply It

You may have heard that Periodization is not scientifically proven, is too complicated, takes too much time and does not work for our sport/my fitness clients. Working with world class and Olympic Athletes from 27 different sports, I have had some of these experiences myself. This is exactly why I created the Flexible Periodization Method. 

Strength coaches and personal trainers can choose to not use any of the specific Periodization methods (tactics) that are available to us. However, it is virtually impossible to avoid Periodization as a strategy. The good news is that we have incredible freedom in how to apply it.   

You will walk away from The Principles To Practice Module with 

  • A deep understanding of Periodization as a strategy which will allow you successfully use a variety of Periodization tactics with or without written training programs.

  • A deep understanding of the 5 Steps of The Flexible Periodization Method, which help you leverage all your current knowledge into effective programs (regardless of the extent to which you continue with The Flexible Periodization Method)


How to Use the Flexible Periodization Method on the Fly

The Flexible Periodization Method details advanced and holistic dimensions of periodization and presents a new, comprehensive and flexible system, that will guide the approach to periodization in the future. The Flexible Periodization Method is evidence based, but also builds on extensive experience with Olympic level athletes.
Marina Aagaard, MSc.
Part-time Associate Professor, Aalborg University Denmark

Periodization Simplified is the 1st Workshop that teaches 
Periodization principles through demonstrations and hands-on examples 

Is it possible to learn Periodization theory through practical exercise examples? 

Can I apply principles of Periodization without written training programs? 

Is it worth applying principles of Periodization even if my athletes or fitness clients only sign up for 3 sessions and/or regularly miss workouts? 

In Periodization Simplified: How To Use The Flexible Periodization Method on The Fly you will see that the answers to the above questions are YES.

Each Traditional Method of Periodization corresponds to ONE type of program. In contrast, The Flexible Periodization Method is 5 step frame work to build the right program - a program that is an exact match to the athlete-client’s needs. 

Regardless of its potential short comings as an explanatory model, we feel that the
General Adaptation Syndrome remains a strong argument for periods of a developmental
loading alternated with periods of reduced load that allow the body to recover.

Better Programs. Less Time. Faster Results.

Each of the 18 principles of the Flexible Periodization Method is deeply rooted the science with 200 references to 108 pages. Each principle is supported by an exercise example (on video) and simple application questions that you can use to create your next program 

You will walk away from Periodization Simplified with the tools create better programs in less time and help you athlete-client to faster results

  • by applying periodization principles - even without written training programs. 

  • Even if they only sign up for 3 sessions - by knowing the optimal order of developing the different physical qualities. 

  • By preventing overuse injuries – through the use of the General Adaptation Syndrome and Principle of Accomodation . 

  • And much more


First 6 Principles

New lecture inspired by the misguided critique of periodization.
Great group if students, University of Copenhagen - Dec. 2019


How Strength Coaches and Personal Trainers Create Highly Individualized Periodized Training Programs for the Fitness Client, the World Class Athlete and Everyone in Between

Give a man a fish, and feed him for a day.
Teach a man how to fish, and feed him for a lifetime.

-Maimonides, Spanish Philosopher

Get a pre-made workout, know what to do for 6 weeks.
Learn how to create a workout, know what to do for the rest of your life.

Program Design is Like Baking

A pastry chef attended one of my recent workshops. We were discussing truly individualized vs. pre-made workouts. I asked him: “Do you create the pastry from scratch or do you go to the grocery store to buy finished, frozen pastry?” 

He looked at me like I was from another planet. "I create it from scratch," he said. Point made! To be the best you can be at anything you must make – or at least know how to make it - from scratch. 

While Periodization Simplified gives you principles Are Your Training Programs H.I.P gives you a recipe for 

  • creating training programs from scratch (if you want to go deep) 

  • improvising within a proven framework (if you have less time)

coaches600x225.jpgWorking with national team coaches from various sports - House of Sports, Copenhagen, Denmark,

The 5-Component Process of
The Flexible Periodization Method
is executed like baking or walking to the mall:
one step at a time.

Have you ever worked with athletes/fitness clients who worked really hard on a well designed program,
yet made minimal or no progress?
If, your answer is yes, then you have experienced that sometimes
the athlete's progress is determined by several other factors than the actual training program.

Are Your Training Programs H.I.P? shows 11 Steps
but at the core the process has 5 components. 

Assessment - Steps 0, 1 and 2, 3 

Periodization: Step 4

Program Design - Steps 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 

Instruction - Step 10 

Evaluation: Step 11 

The 47-page manual is pure to do. There is no theory. The steps (and sub steps) is a direct reflection of 26 years of practical experience with highly individualized programming for fitness clients, the world class athlete and everyone in between. 

A Unique Fit to Your Style of Training

Since most other resources cover the program design process itself in a few pages, 47 pages may sound like a lot. However, the reason that the word “flexible” is in The Flexible Periodization Method is because the method can be used in parts or in whole and fit your style of training. 

I never thought about that... is a common response when I consult with coaches and trainers on their program design. The live workshop combines lecture and on-the-floor program design where you are guided/supported to build programs for real clients using the Flexible Periodization Method.  

Are Your Training Programs H.I.P? will 

  • Help you gain clarity and be more confident about what the athlete/client REALLY needs to work on. 

  • Deliver faster and more sustainable progress for your athletes and clients as their programs are uniquely matched to their individual needs. 

  • Give you clarity about YOUR own weak links (what YOU need to work on as a coach/trainer) as you go through the 11 steps.

Here are 8 tips for a more enjoyable and productive
program design experience.


Discover more about the content in the
Periodization Simplified workshop.


Can't make the live workshop date?
Take the course online.


Test your periodization knowledge skills.
Take the free quiz.


 Copyright © 2007-2022 Yes To Strength and Karsten Jensen. All rights reserved. 

All information contained on is intended for use by individuals who are healthy, injury-free adults aged 18 years and older who possess sound knowledge and skill execution of strength training exercises and their application and a thorough understanding of proper exercise technique and their application. We urge you to exercise care and caution when attempting any of the exercises, combinations, tips and strategies mentioned and to seek competent help and counsel from trained medical or fitness experts before beginning any new exercise program, or if you have any questions about your health. and Karsten Jensen are neither responsible nor liable for any harm or injury resulting from use of the information described herein.