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Program Designer

Do you have ideas for strength training programs that you want to test the effect of? Do you want to learn what it takes to move forward if progression stops?  Then Optimal Strength Gains is the solution for you.


Program designs

Build fantastic strength-training programs. An effective program is built up around training principles such as specificity, overload, variation and proper fatigue management to ensure adequate recovery, adaption and increase in performance. Your most important tools are volume-, intensity-, and frequency-strategies, followed by exercises selection, methods, rest periods and tempo.

Experience Bank

Get feedback on how different strength athletes respond to your program and compare the results with other strength programs. Strength level, gender, age, body weight, height, lean body mass and dominant muscle fiber type are variables that affect the results. For example, advanced lifters that are closer to their genetic limit will most likely respond with less magnitude compared to novice lifters.


Autoregulation automatically regulates the training load for an exercise and muscle group. It allows an individual athlete to train with lighter loads on days with high fatigue, and with higher loads on days with low fatigue when they feel strong and recovered. Autoregulation automatically individualises the load progression based on your current shape, and degree of readiness.

The Calendar Builder

Build strength-training programs in the Calendar Builder. Drag and drop exercises and create different sessions with desired reps, reps to failure, load, method, tempo and rest period. Then drag and drop the sessions into the Calendar. Create a desired split routine and choose the length of the program.

In the Calendar Builder you will create static programs, which means that, for example, Session 1 has the same variables in every week throughout the entire program.

The Progression Builder

The next step is creating a progressive overload strategy in the Progression Builder. Progressive overload is a crucial concept and requires a gradual increase in volume (set x reps), intensity (intensity of effort or intensity of load) and/or frequency (sessions per body part per week) over time, in order to increase strength performance. Edit further desired tempo, rest period and insert methods like straight-, super-, pre-exhaust-, giant-, drop- and pyramid-set.

Your goal as a Program Designer is to design a program that allows for the greatest increase in 1 RM in the test exercises. The only mandatory rule is to choose a test exercise (or several) that are executed in the first (pretest) and last week (posttest) of the program. The test AMRAP set (as many reps as possible) will calculate the individual strength athlete’s one repetition maximum kg value (1 RM) and is used to find the lifter’s level using the Strength Standards. The pre- and post- 1 RM kg values are then used to determine the individual lifters result or percentage 1 RM increase. The strength athlete’s results are stored in your Experience Bank.

Insert some light sessions or deload weeks every now and then to ensure proper fatigue management, recovery and adoption, which is especially important before the final one repetition maximum (1 RM) test in the final week.

Publish the program and make it available for Strength athletes.

Published Programs

The published programs table shows an overview of all of your published programs, and variables like the program name, published date, number of completions, category, test exercise(s) and training split.

Programs under editing are saved under the corresponding table called Saved Programs. Once you publish a saved program it will be moved to the Published Programs table. Because the program is available to the Strength athletes after publishing and their results are saved in the Experience Bank, you can no longer make changes to the program. No. of completion is how many strength athletes that have completed your program. 

Experience Bank

Every program has one to three test exercises, where the Strength athlete is conducting a test AMRAP set (as many reps as possible), in the first and last week of the program.

The test AMRAP set will automatically calculate the 1 repetition maximum (1 RM), which is the highest weight the strength athlete is able to perform with only one repetition and maximum effort (zero reps to failure) in the test exercise.

The 1 RM results (kg) combined with body weight determines the Strength athlete’s level, ranging from Untrained to Elite level.

By comparing the pre- and post 1 RM test result, we can calculate the strength athlete’s result or the percentage increase value in the test exercise.

All the percentage increase values are stored in the program’s Experience Bank along with variables which affect performance such as test exercise, gender, level, body weight, age, height, waist-to-hip ratio and more. The percentage increase values displayed in the Experience Bank are median values. The median (average) is the “middle” of a sorted list from smallest to largest of all the percentage increase values.

The Top 3 Results table displays which traits or variables and which mirror athletes who achieved the best result after completing the program, for each level.

Your expected result table predicts the results the individual strength athlete may achieve if they choose to start and complete the program, and properly manage their fatigue and recovery abilities and aim for optimal output.


In the review section, strength athletes and Personal Trainers can give feedback on their experience with your program. This also enables you to learn and improve your work.

Program Design

The program design summarises how the strength training program is structured, concerning the most important variables, like training volume, intensity, frequency and more.

For the strength athlete, the program design reveals why they responds to it, for example exceptionally good like a high responder, or exceptionally bad like a low responder.

Exercise selection is not necessarily the most important variable in a training design.

The Training Program

The calendar function in the Program Designer profile is simply called the Training Program.

Here the strength athlete can see all the details of the training program, like training days, exercises, sets, reps, method and more.

The strength athlete can then download the desired program to their Calendar & Workout log, ready to start the program where the sessions are logged on the strength athlete’s mobile phone.


Communicate with strength athletes, Personal Trainers and other Program Designers. Get feedback, answer questions and exchange ideas.

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