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Marrying the Stimulus: Hybrid Training

Introduction: I Need Help With My Schedule

Most inquiries I get about training are clients asking me to help set their schedule.  People get programming from all over the place; coaches, friends, YouTube, Instagram..etc. Most of the time their programming is bullshit, but that’s a story for another time.  With strength programming on hand they tend to sprinkle in speed work, aerobic work all over their calendar with no rhyme or reason.  Today we are going to discuss my most recent call with a client of mine who just BQ’d (Boston Qualified) in her first marathon training with myself and her run coach.


Ironing Out Goals

Since the race she has now transitioned into an offseason where she will still be running a handful of days per week as well as strength training (3-4 days per week) and attending soul cycle (1-2 times per week).  With the next race on the calendar not until next year we have a lot of time together.  During this timeframe the focus will primarily be on strength training (her goal).  As we get closer to the next race we will shift that focus to speed on the course while having strength training to support running form, technique, robustness, speed and power.   


Other factors to consider

When creating this schedule for my client there are a handful of things to consider. First it was her goal, which is what we discussed earlier. Next would be her time and availability.  I can write the perfect program, but if it is not suitable for my client then the program holds no value.  We need to make sure our program is something the client has the time and availability to complete. After that it comes down to training equipment.  Again, the program doesn’t matter if it cannot be performed.  I need to know what my client has access to in order to be able to prescribe exercises and workouts.


Marrying the stimulus

The money maker. This is where I see a lot of coaches struggle. Anyone can write a program that progressively overloads week over week, month over month.  That is simple.  The money is made in marrying the stimulus. What does that mean? Keep your high days high and your low days low.  


High Days = stressful to CNS (central nervous system)


Low Days = less stressful to CNS, help promote blood flow and recovery


Sample Schedule

Monday: Morning Lift (Total Body: Upper), Evening Run – Low

Tuesday: Morning Lift (Total Body: Lower), Speed Workout – High 

Wednesday: SoulCycle – Low

Thursday: Morning Lift (Total Body: Lower), Evening Run – High 

Friday: Morning Lift (Total Body: Primer) – Low

Saturday: Longest Run – High

Sunday: Movement & Stretching – Low


As you can see from this schedule we have 4 low days and 3 high days.  Each high day is separated by a low day in order to help promote recovery. A common misconception is that low days are easy. That is not the case. Low days are still hard, just the movements being performed are less taxing on the central nervous system.  Are there things I would change? Of course.  I would always prefer my client to run first before lifting, since running is the overall goal and running/sprinting is the most taxing thing we can do. That being said we are approaching winter in the great northeast and it’s dark and cold in the morning.  Shifting the lift to first thing in the morning and giving a long break before the run I don’t think we will have any issues as long as she is staying properly nourished and hydrated. This is a blueprint that myself and my client will rely on, but can be changed at any moment.  A blueprint like this helps myself (the coach) and the client stay accountable and gives structure to her week, something she thrives on.  

 Additional Notes:

High CNS Exercises: Axial Loading, Motor Unit Recruitment, Speed of Movement 

High CNS days should have 48 hours between each other




When it comes to training clients there is more to it than sets and reps.  My client here like most of my clients are in it for the long haul. If you want to get someone strong in 12 weeks, almost anyone can do that.  Keep a client healthy, engaged and fresh over the course of 6 months has its challenges.  Always have your clients goals at the forefront, make sure the programming fits their schedule and most importantly do your best to marry the stimulus.  


If you have any additional questions please send me a DM @CM1_Peformance on IG.



With Strength,

Colin Masterson – Performance Coach

Employee – CM1 Performance

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