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With over 25 years of experience designing workouts for people, programs, and teams, the one thing I have learned is that it is essential to always maintain focus on the objectives of your training. Understanding these training objectives is crucial when creating a training program for any group of people. This allows you to stay on course with what you are trying to accomplish while organizing an annualized plan to ensure consistent progress throughout the training program.


Once an objective of the training program is considered, you can then periodize your plan to provide peaking and high performance during the event or season. This is taken a step further once you get into the season by creating a structure and manipulating variables to ensure that athletes peak weekly or even biweekly. 

To succeed in doing this, a coach must be keenly aware and educated on the systemic (endocrine, muscular, nervous, immune, etc.) processes involved in training and competing and their impact on the body and its systems. In many regards, putting together this type of program is easier than putting together a training program for general health and fitness as we have at Black Flag because I know the specific objectives and intended outcomes of the training. Creating a program can be easier when you have these variables in place. This is the issue many fitness programs face. Furthermore, appreciating the impact of our training on a systemic level can ultimately benefit our long-term development.

Overreaching, overtraining, burnout, and injury happen far too often in many functional fitness spaces because many trainers and coaches need to understand and appreciate the residual chronic impact daily training has. The goal is to manipulate these variables gently for sustained progress. 

What sets our approach apart is our keen awareness of the systemic processes involved in training and competing. We understand that success isn’t just about pushing harder but about understanding the intricate interplay of endocrine, muscular, nervous, and immune systems. This depth of knowledge allows us to tailor our programs to maximize performance while minimizing the risk of injury or burnout.

However, while training for competitive sports may have its specific challenges, designing programs for general health and fitness poses its own complexities. Unlike athletes with defined seasons and goals, individuals seeking overall well-being must navigate a landscape of diverse objectives, from strength and muscle development to cardiovascular fitness and mobility.

This is where the concept of concurrent training comes into play. By addressing multiple facets of physical development simultaneously, we aim to cultivate a balanced approach to fitness. Yet, we recognize the inherent trade-offs involved. While it’s possible to make progress across various domains, true optimization requires a focused dedication to specific goals.

At Black Flag Athletics, our goal is to bridge the gap between performance and longevity. We prioritize building muscle, strength, mobility, and cardiovascular endurance, all while ensuring that our training enhances rather than detracts from our clients’ quality of life. This entails not only pushing boundaries but also providing ample opportunities for recovery and adaptation.

Our programming philosophy revolves around three core principles:

  1. Movement Pattern: We focus on primary movement patterns and planes of movement, loading them in diverse ways to promote functional strength and mobility.
  2. Energy System: Each session targets a specific energy system, whether it’s short and heavy, long and light, or somewhere in between, avoiding mixing different energy demands within the same workout.
  3. Muscular Demand: We carefully assess the inherent muscular demand of each movement pattern to prevent overexertion and minimize the risk of injury.

By adhering to this three-step process, we maintain a clear focus on our training objectives while allowing for flexibility and adaptability. We track variables such as intention, volume, intensities, and systemic impact, ensuring that every workout contributes to our clients’ overall well-being.

Ultimately, our goal is not just to build athletes but to empower individuals to lead healthier, more fulfilling lives. At Black Flag Athletics, we believe that true success lies not only in what you achieve in the gym but in how you carry that strength and resilience into every aspect of your life.


Yours In Fitness,

Thomas M. Rini, MEd.

CSCS | CFL3 | Fitness Specialist | Biomechanics Specialist | USAWL1 

“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.”

Owner/Head Coach – Black Flag Athletics