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Getting Started

If you're reading this, you must be a new online client. Pleasure to have you on board!

What follows is a super important read to ensure you know what you're doing on your first week of the amazing programme I've drawn up for you.

Many of the terms I use here will be foreign to you, but they are worth taking the time to understand as they're critical to helping you understand how the programme works.

If you haven't already, please check download the TruCoach app and check out the quick TruCoach tutorial. An invite to join the app will be sent to the email address your provided me with.

Now let's take a look at the nuts and bolts of your online programme:

1. Doing your part

Good coaching is a collaborative process that requires constant and detailed feedback. The more you give me, the more info I can use to help you.

There are two things that you need to do in every session:

Video your final set

I need one video of the final set of each exercise.

This needs to be a side angle video where your full body is visible. Please avoid any majorly upward tilting angles. I recommend using the front camera on your phone so you can see if the shot is appropriate before starting.

An easy way to get a good shot is to lean your phone against your water bottle. If you can place it on top of a bench, that will get it about hip level which is ideal.

And look, I get it: taking videos can feel awkward and it may be very hard to do depending on your gym and the amount of people around. So all I can ask is that you try your best. Just remember that the video aspect of online coaching is what allows me to ensure you're training safely and efficiently.

See below for example of good framing:

Note your work

Using the TruCoach client app, you need to note down the weights and reps of each set you performed. You only need to note the RPE / RIR of the final set. It's also great if you want to note any additional thoughts.


2. Warm-Ups

You'll probably notice there's no general warm-up where you're doing leg swings, glute bridges, hip stretches etc.

I believe these are largely a waste of time for most people.

You have a limited amount of time to train and so I want that to be spent on as much 'bang for buck' activity as possible.

It's for this reason that the warm-ups are all specific to the exercise you are going to be doing!

If you are really dead set on doing something general, you can use this.

3. The Set Types

This is the main area of terminolog

y that you won't have seen before - because I created it!

In my programming there are three types of sets you can be prescribed:

Climber Sets

Climber sets will make up the bulk of your early training with me.

These are sets where you are given a rep range to work within. If you manage to hit the upper end of the rep range, you are permitted to add 2.5kg total (meaning 1.25 kg per side if it's a barbell).

On the final climber set, you permitted to go above the prescribed reps, but only if you are able to.

Example: 5-10 range, starting at 45kg

Set 1: 45kg x 10

Set 2: 47.5kg x 10

Set 3: 50kg x 6

Builder Sets

These are sometimes referred to 'sets across'. This is when you keep the weight the same, but add work by way of more total reps.

These are particularly useful for when progress has slowed, especially on smaller assistance exercises where it takes longer to add weight (curls, lateral raises, etc.)

Example: 3-6 x 5 at 45kg

Set 1: 45kg x 5

Set 2: 45kg x 5

Set 3: 45kg x 5

Set 4: 45kg x 5

Peaker Sets

I use peaker sets the least, but they still have great utility.

The goal of peaker sets is essentially to test your strength. It's for this reason that you typically will only do them if you're starting a new exercise or going for a PR (personal record).


Build to a set of 5 reps on bench at RPE 8.5 / RIR 2

Set 1: 40kg x 5 (RPE 4)

Set 2: 50kg x 5 (RPE 5)

Set 3: 60kg x 5 (RPE 7)

Set 4: 70kg x5 (RPE 8)

Set 5: 72.5kg x 5 (RPE 8.5)

3. 'Two in the tank' / How many sets?

This is super duper important. If it doesn't make sense, read it again, or message me to clarify.

There are no specific amount of sets for you to do in my programmes.

The number of sets is determined by how hard you're finding the exercise.

We measure that by using two tools: RIR and RPE.


Stands for Reps In Reserve. This is how many reps you think you have left before you would no longer be able to complete another rep.

For example, if you perform a set of 5 reps but think you could have done two more before failing, that would be rated as '2 RIR'.


Stands for Rating of Perceived Exertion. This is an estimation of how hard you found the set in terms of effort. RPE is a 10 point scale, with '10' obviously representing the hardest you could possibly push, and '0' meaning laying in bed.

'Two in the tank'

While all your exercises will have at least an RIR or an RPE target assigned to them, you will almost always be aiming to ensure that you have two reps in the tank.

Experience has taught me this keeps us from doing dumb shit that will risk bad recovery or injury, but also means we're pushing enough to make progress.

4. Putting it All Together

To make the process easier to understand, let's use a real example:

As you can see this online client:

  • Noted what they did for each set

  • Noted the RIR of the final set

  • Cut the sets once they had reached the target RIR of 2-3

  • Provided a video of their final set

One more example, this time with builders:

5. Time for gains!

After your first week, this will all make sense and become a normal part of your training routine.

I look forward to working with you, and don't hesitate to get in contact if you have any Qs on the above.

In Strength,


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