If you’re looking to improve your skills in designing programs, the best way to learn is to get feedback on your work from experts.

Blog posts, YouTube videos, and podcasts are all helpful, but understanding how to apply all of the information out there is very challenging.

Lots of coaches and athletes feel like they don’t have anyone to bounce ideas off of or to help them understand how to tie everything together. Our Program Design Workshops are a feedback-focused program designed to give coaches a practical understanding of how to design effective programs.


Lots of coaches and athletes have no trouble finding workouts to do or coming up with a strength progression to follow. But, putting it all together in a cohesive package is tough.


Todd Nief, Founder – Legion Strength & Conditioning

Designing effective training programs isn’t just about having the knowledge of what progressions to use.

It’s not about being up-to-date on the latest exercise science literature.

It’s not even about having elite athletes who follow your training.

Instead, it’s more about understanding how to prioritize, how to make decisions with incomplete information, how to adjust when things are going wrong, and how to make things fun and engaging.

These “soft skills” are difficult to pick up from podcasts, videos, and weekend seminars.

In fact, designing solid programs is probably more like becoming an excellent chef, surgeon, or blacksmith. In those professions, apprenticeship models teach practical skills and subtle decision-making.

For coaches and athletes looking to design programs, it’s much more difficult to find a mentor to explain all of the tiny decisions they make when putting together training programs.

I know I was fortunate enough to have several relationships with elite coaches when I was getting started, and their formal and informal mentorship taught me more than I could have imagined.

That’s why we created our program design workshops. Through our podcasts and articles, we meet a lot of coaches and athletes who have questions about programming.

While we try to be helpful, we realized that it’s impossible to give people the full mental framework for how we think about writing programming in a podcast or in an email response to a question.

So, we built these workshops to focus on going through real-life examples and providing individualized feedback on each participant’s programs.


Our next workshop will be focused on designing effective training templates.

When designing programs for athletes, we usually have some idea of what their priorities are. If someone can’t quite lift the Rx weights in competitions, they probably need to get stronger. If they fall apart with high-volume handstand push-ups in conditioning workouts, they need to improve shoulder muscle endurance under fatigue.

However, it’s not always clear how to incorporate those priorities into a bigger picture plan.

How much volume and time do we dedicate to specific priorities? Is it ok to let a strong athlete get weaker to improve their conditioning? What about when we are starting to approach the competitive season?

Designing effective templates is all about trade-offs. As coaches, we need to be able to decide “We are doing this instead of that.” We need to be ok making judgment calls and taking some risks.

Great coaches hone their intuition for these kinds of decisions through tons of experience. Through mentorship and sharing of ideas, we can fast-track that learning. That’s why we run these program design workshops!

Here’s some of the topics we will address:

  • How should in-season vs pre-season vs in-season templates vary? How much sport-specific training is necessary at each stage?
  • How many priorities can an athlete work on at once?
  • How do we maintain sport-specific skills and adaptations while working on “general physical preparedness?”
  • How do we convert a list of priorities into a weekly plan for training?
  • How do templates differ for intermediate athletes (who are still working on building skills and strength) compared to higher level athletes who can already “do everything”?

Here’s the details:

  • This one-day workshop runs on Saturday, September 17th from 11am-2pm Central (UTC-6)
  • The workshop will be limited to 12 participants so we can make sure everyone has an opportunity to receive individualized feedback on their templates
  • Cost for the workshop is $109.
  • Registration for the workshop closes Saturday, 9/10


Do I have to already be doing programming for high-level athletes to do this workshop?

No. This workshop is intended for people who are interested in improving their program design skills and their understanding of programming, but it’s not important that people already have experience working with tons of athletes.

Previous participants have had a range of experience levels — from just getting into coaching to full-time coaches working with multiple individual design clients.

We do encourage people to do one of two things:

Convince a friend to let them write some programming for them in order to apply some of the principles from the workshop.

Write some progressions for themselves in their own training

Is this only for people coaching CrossFit athletes?

The details we discuss will be focused on athletes training to compete at CrossFit competitions.

That said, the principles behind what we are discussing are applicable across several different domains. If you coach general population clients doing some form of mixed modal training, you will probably find useful takeaways — although you will have to adapt the details of what we talk about.

If this doesn’t seem like too much of a hurdle, then sign up!

I’m more of an athlete than a coach. Will this help me?

Some athletes benefit from understanding the “why” behind their training. Others can get themselves in trouble with too much thinking.

For a certain type of athlete — especially one who programs for themselves — the concepts in this workshop will be very helpful. For others, this will be “too much information” and not helpful.

Our last workshop was a bunch of fun, and I love nerding out with a bunch of other coaches about the ins and outs of program design.

Here's what to expect

Expert Coaching

We have some of the best coaches in the business — who are focused on answering questions, watching technique, and providing individualized feedback.


We build fitness that carries over to activities outside the gym — from going for a bike ride on the lake to carrying a heavy suitcase to just going up a few flights of stairs.

Join a commuity

We’ve got a group of like-minded people in a team-like atmosphere holding you accountable and making going to the gym fun.




If you’re ready to level-up your program design skills, getting individualized feedback on your programming is the best way to do it.

If you’re looking to understand all of the conflicting information out there, bouncing ideas off of a group of highly motivated and knowledgeable coaches is invaluable.

Join the next Legion Program Design Workshop to take your programming to the next level.

Learn About our next workshop

Join our email list and we will let you know when we are running another program design workshop.