Hypothetical Case Studies: Designing a Training Program for an Untrained Individual


In this video, the speaker discusses a hypothetical training program for an untrained individual who wants to get bigger, stronger, and more functional. The program begins by focusing on hypertrophy and movement patterns. After six months, the program transitions to include power and speed exercises, as well as strength training with varying rep ranges. The speaker emphasizes the importance of preserving fast twitch muscle fibers and developing foot speed for longevity and functional movement. The program also includes different exercises each day to keep it interesting and prevent boredom. Overall, this program aims to achieve muscle growth, power, and functional fitness for long-term health and vitality.

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Key Insights:

  • When designing a training program for an untrained individual, it’s essential to prioritize increasing muscle mass and strength.
  • For the first six months, focus on optimizing movement patterns, practicing compound exercises, and gradually increasing volume.
  • Preserving fast-twitch muscle fibers is crucial for long-term physical function, as they contribute to power and speed.
  • Investing time in power and speed training is necessary to prevent falls, maintain foot speed, and brace falls to avoid injuries.
  • Over the next six months, add 10-15 minutes of explosive movements, such as box jumps and medicine ball throws, at the beginning of each workout.
  • Incorporate different workout modalities, such as strength training, endurance work, and isometrics, to continue muscle growth and prevent boredom.
  • Maintaining a whole-body training approach allows for flexibility in case of missed workout days.
  • Varying rep ranges, such as lower reps with heavier weights and higher reps with lighter weights, can create different training stimuli and minimize soreness.
  • Introducing power and speed training in a safe manner can help individuals increase their functional abilities and stay active as they age.


Let’s now talk about hypothetical ways to train and let’s begin by discussing a training program for an untrained individual. This person comes to you and says they want a training program to get bigger and stronger, with a focus on long-term functionality. They also mention they can commit to going to the gym three days a week for an hour each time.

To start, we need to address the fact that they are untrained and have insufficient muscle mass. We’ll focus on hypertrophy, which is the foundation for strength. We’ll also incorporate training for power and speed, as these are essential for long-term functionality and injury prevention.

In the first six months, we’ll emphasize perfecting movement patterns and gradually building muscle mass. We’ll start with basic exercises like goblet squats, hip extensions, overhead presses, and bent rows. The sessions will consist of one to three working sets of four different exercises, spread across upper and lower body movements. The goal is to become comfortable with these movement patterns and focus on proper form and technique.

During this time, there won’t be a heavy emphasis on tracking progression, but rather on ensuring correct movement patterns are established and that the individual doesn’t experience excessive soreness that could deter them from continuing their training.

After the initial six months, when the individual expresses a desire for more intensive training, we can modify the program. They mention not being able to commit more time to the gym but express a desire to become even bigger and stronger.

At this point, we’ll begin incorporating power and speed training into their routine. This will involve dedicating the first 10 to 15 minutes of each workout to exercises like box jumps (with a focus on landing on the box to reduce eccentric loading and soreness), bounds, skips, medicine ball throws, and sprints. These exercises will introduce explosive movements and develop quickness, agility, and change of direction.

Moving on to strength training, the individual will continue with full-body workouts three days a week. Each day will have a different focus and rep range. For example, Monday could involve 3-4 sets of 5-7 reps with heavier weights and longer rest periods, Wednesday could focus on 15-20 reps per set to induce more of a pump and achieve a feeling of acute satisfaction, and Friday could involve isometric exercises, which are beneficial for joint and connective tissue health.

It’s essential to maintain these workouts with whole-body training each day to ensure consistency even if a session is missed occasionally. By varying the rep ranges and exercise types, the individual will continue to see hypertrophy gains while addressing different aspects of strength, power, and endurance.

Overall, this program aims to lay the foundation for muscle growth, strength, and functional movement over the long term. By incorporating power, speed, and different rep ranges, we can create a well-rounded training program that encompasses the individual’s goals and limitations.