EP 176: Program Design That Works For Real World Clients and the Trainable Menu w/ Tony Gentlicore

Full name
11 Jan 2022
5 min read

I met Tony as far back as 2007 when Cressey Sports Performance opened and I flew to Boston to train with Eric and him. We were all meatheads obsessed with training and performance so we hit it off. We’ve hosted Tony for workshops both in my Seattle and in my Slovenia gym, and although I consider him a friend I also respect him as a coach and have learned much from him as he’s not only been there, done that, but still doing it! In this episode we stay on the topic of program design and coaching of clients in the real world (not social media workouts that no one really does).

Tony Gentilcore is one of the co-founders of Cressey Sports Performance, which really should have been called "Cressilcore Sports Performance" because that sounds like an awesome castle where a wizard lives (and plays sports).

He's no longer coaching there, but his legacy remains. Tony's Techno Tuesdays will live on forever.

When he’s not picking things up and putting them down himself, he trains people at his studio, CORE, located in Boston, MA. He also contributes to the top fitness magazines and websites around, and sets up a camera in his garage to record his lightsaber skills.

He lives in Boston. With his wife, Lisa, and son, Julian. And cat, Dagny.


=> How has Tony’s philosophy on programming changed over the years and how has it evolved.

=> Tony started coaching in 2002 and had “luck” being around great people as well as finding great resources (find out which ones).

=> The power of listening and learning from people who actually train (a lot) of people.

=> Why every client should be doing athletic things before lifting, and how to adjust it for true beginners.

=> What are the “meat and potatoes” lifts Tony uses and why he’s still focused on improving big lifts for clients.

=> How Tony has been able to stay packed with his book of business with “boring” and “nothing fancy” training programs.

=> Most people don’t make progress because they have TOO much variety and novelty in their training.

=> What Tony would do with a complete beginner with the “big lifts.”

=> The best gyms have criteria and standards when it comes “earning” your next lift or exercise; follow their lead.

=> Coaches intuition and how some things can’t be put into guidelines or charts.

=> The unusual strategy of helping body composition clients set performance goals and how it supercharges results.

=> Why filming your clients is a powerful tool, both for them and for YOU.

=> How to create “results in advance” within one training session and to help clients win in one training session.

=> The “8-12-8 method” of progressing your reps and why it’s simple and effective.

=> How Tony progresses his clients with sets and reps in a simple way that creates some rules and boundaries.

=> The 80/20 Rule in programming to keep the sessions engaging for clients and still give them what they want.

=> What is the “trainable menu” and how it helps you continue training through injuries, nagging pains, and anatomy.  

=> Tony’ trainable menu during recovery after he tore his achilles tendon.

=> Helping clients on what they CAN do rather than on what’s “wrong” with them.

=> When to change exercises for the clients (and how much input they have in the program).

=> What is the “4-3-2 approach” that will help you program a great 60-minute session.

=> The power of moments and why strategizing the end of the session to be great is VERY important.

=> The breakdown of how Tony and I get clients the best results possible.

=> Self determination theory and the psychology of how to get clients to buy in.


Tony Gentlicore Website  https://tonygentilcore.com/

Tony Gentlicore https://www.instagram.com/tonygentilcore?utm_source=ig_web_button_share_sheet&igsh=ZDNlZDc0MzIxNw==

Luka’s Courses and Workshops  www.LukaHocevar.com

Vigor Life Podcast (iTunes)  h

Vigor Life Podcast on Spotify https://open.spotify.com/show/0gp1uXtwfRUcBkfS1P1uim?si=kcUu2vhPRwuxdV5kTzQrug

Luka Hocevar YouTube Channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQ29YcBh-g6onRujX3wD_XA?view_as=subscriber

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