Become a ProNatal Certified Coach. Self-Paced Online Course Newly Updated for 2024. ENROLL NOW→

Programming Course

A Simple Guide to Program Design

Do you struggle to plan out big-picture personal training programs for your clients? Do you find it difficult to balance creating customized programs for each of your clients while also being efficient with your time?

Now you can improve the effectiveness of your training programs AND the efficiency of your process.

In this short (but powerful) course, you’ll learn a simple step-by-step guide to creating cohesive training programs that enables your clients to consistently progress, stay motivated, and achieve their goals.

This course is currently being updated and will be available in Spring 2024

Already purchased the course? Login Here.

What You'll Learn

What You’ll Learn


Upon Completion, You’ll Be Able To:
  • Efficiently create customized training programs for all your clients
  • Segment your programs into smaller, skill-based learning stages
  • Construct individual sessions that link together in a cohesive way to avoid “session whiplash”
  • Add variety to your programs in a manner that piques client engagement and ensures consistent progress toward goals

Course Contents

The course consists of 6 learning modules and a final "case study" module where we show you how to apply the approach you learned to a variety of client populations. Click on the purple links to watch a small excerpt from the module.

This course begins with a look at how writing a program is similar in structure to writing a novel. A well thought-through plan helps to create cohesion among training sessions, so that your client can avoid session whiplash, and build stronger connections to the abilities they must develop to achieve their goals.

The first step to crafting the best program (or story) for your client is to perform an assessment. The quality of your program is directly impacted by the questions you ask and the movements you assess. Learn the key questions to ask, how to perform a “needs analysis,” and how to compile the information into the 4 “Big Rocks” that you will use to develop your macrocycle.

The macrocycle is the largest unit of the program and is the long-form plan. Think of this as the story arc of your novel. To build it, you will need to consider the 4 “Big Rocks” of the assessment, and then follow 3-Steps to build your client’s macrocycle.

With the story arc (macrocycle) framed out, we’ll teach you how to break the story down into chapters, or mesocycles (mid-size training blocks with specific skill objectives). Learn how to create mesocycles in a way that gives clients a balance between consistency and variety, so they establish momentum and stay engaged.

The last step in the program design process is constructing the individual sessions (or microcycles). Think of these as the paragraphs within each chapter. They must link together in a logical way so there is a relationship to the overall “plot” (or macrocycle). If constructed right, your clients will progress from session to session making consistent progress while staying very engaged (like a riveting novel they can’t put down!).

Now it’s time to dive into the numerous variables that you can manipulate to add variety and challenge to your clients’ workouts. Think of this as the descriptive detail that makes the novel more interesting and engaging to read. Before diving into the variables, we’ll cover the #1 most important question to ask first to help you make the most appropriate decisions for your client.

Throughout the course, we’ve used a prenatal client as our model when showing application of the principles, but this approach is designed to meet the needs of ALL clients. In this module, we’ll show you how to apply this approach to seniors, athletes, and even “fitness enthusiasts” with no specific training goals.

I wish I had this material earlier in my career! So often, I pieced different learnings and programming advice together -- only to feel frustrated and overwhelmed. This course provides a simple, step-by-step process that helps clients achieve peak performance and health. I feel so much more confident about designing programs for all my clients now that I have this concrete structure to rely on.

Danielle Ragan, Certified Personal Trainer & Health Coach

ProNatal has done it again! After taking this mini-course, I feel much more confident about my ability to design programs that will help my clients achieve results and meet their goals. I’m so grateful to be a part of the ProNatal Fitness community and to learn from their courses and programs as I strive to be an evidence-based professional.

Angela Lancaster, Certified Personal Trainer

This course is imperative for any personal trainer who is serious about furthering their career. You will learn ways to design a structured long-term program, but also offer variety within that structure so your clients stay motivated and achieve their goals. Trainers of every sport will benefit from this course.

Anthony Carstens, Certified Personal Trainer

As a personal trainer for over 17 years, I felt like I understood the basics of program design but lacked the discipline to implement it properly because it felt too laborious. This course broke the whole process down into very manageable pieces with useful templates to use. This is just what I needed to make programming more efficient!

Abby Kurtz, Certified Personal Trainer and Owner of Pea in the Pod Fitness

This is a truly valuable resource for personal trainers. It provides a simple system that walks you through programming for a client in a systematic way – and it’s applicable regardless of your preferred modality or the population you work with.

Larry Ahearn, Certified Personal Trainer & Endurance Coach

This course is an excellent investment for any personal trainer. The fundamentals you learn will help you design long-term programs that help clients of all demographics better achieve their goals. You will also learn how to design a wider variety of individual workouts to keep your clients engaged and motivated over the course of their training program.

Ryan Stec, Fitness and Strength Coach

This course is a great addition to any personal trainer's education, regardless of their specialty!

Dia Qirreh, Certified Personal Trainer and Group Fitness Instructor

Approved By...

0.5 CEUs

0.5 CECs

5.0 CEUs


This course is for any personal trainer interested in learning the fundamentals of effective program design. It is NOT specific to pre & postnatal, but program design IS an incredibly important skill for being a great pre & postnatal coach.

Whether you are early in your career, or deep into it, you will come out of this course with valuable tools to help you improve the effectiveness of your programs and the efficiency of your process.

The programming concepts taught in this course can be applied to ALL populations. This is the programming methodology we used to develop the structure taught in our Pre/Postnatal Performance Training Specialist Course, but it can be applied to any population.

In this course, we use the example of a prenatal client to explain the concepts as we teach them, but then the last module is a “case study” module where we show how to apply the structure to other clients as well. Case studies are shown for a newly postpartum client, a senior, an athlete, and a “fitness enthusiast” with no specific training goals.

No. You do not need to have any prior pre & postnatal experience to benefit from the concepts taught in this course.

This course is, however, designed for personal trainers. So, you will get the most out of it if you have a personal training education and are already familiar with concepts such as macrocycle, mesocycle, and microcycle.

This course will teach you the methodology we used to develop the programming framework in our Pre/Postnatal Performance Training Specialist Course. Whereas the Specialist Course gives you a high level overview of a programming structure, this course goes much deeper into the step-by-step process of designing a comprehensive training program for a client — from creating the big picture program, to breaking that program down into training stages, to designing individual sessions (and ensuring those sessions build on one another in a cohesive way).

This course is an excellent complement to the Specialist Course. It will not only help you create more effective programs for your pre & postnatal clients, but will help you program more effectively (and efficiently) for all your other clients as well.

It depends on what your goals are. If you are interested in learning the keys to training the pre & postnatal population, then definitely take the Pre/Postnatal Performance Training Specialist Course first.

If you are more interested in improving your program design skills first, and looking for a course that you can apply to all your clients, then take this programming course first.

At the end of the course, there is a 50-minute timed exam that you take at home on your computer or device. There are 35 multiple choice questions, and you must get an 85% (30 questions correct) to pass. You can use any notes you want, but you must complete the exam within the 50 minute time limit.

If you pass, you will immediately be able to download your certificate. If you do not pass, you can purchase an exam re-test for $35.

Each module also contains a self-check to gauge your comprehension. These are not graded. They are purely for your learning benefit, and they serve as great preparation for the exam.

You have lifetime access to the course, so there is no deadline to complete. That said, once you start the course, we recommend trying to work through it relatively consistently because the concepts build on one another. The course is estimated to take between 5-6 hours.

Yes. Typically the process is that you reach out to your certifying agency and ask them for a CEC petition form. You complete the form.

If you need any additional information about the course, you can submit this Course Overview to your agency. We are also happy to provide your reviewer course access, or any other materials requested. Please reach out to us at info@pronatalfitness.com for any of this information.

This course is approved for the following CECs already:

  • ACE 0.5
  • NASM 0.5
  • AFAA 5.0

We are happy to answer any questions you have!  Email us at Info@pronatalfitness.com or give us a call at 516-778-9468.


This course is currently being updated and will open for enrollment in spring 2024
A Simple Guide to Program Design

Lifetime Course Access

7 Self-Paced Learning Modules

Webinars & Printable Slides

Programming Templates

Quick Reference Guides

Case Study Practice

Certificate of Completion

CEUs: ACE 0.5, NASM 0.5, AFAA 5.0

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us at info@pronatalfitness.com.