Complexity is the Enemy of Execution

The VH Health and Performance Model is a model in which we strive to help an athlete, individual, or coach reach a new level of understanding that exceeds far beyond a training program. Our model looks far outside the narrow lens of one mean, method, or ideology.

The VH Health and Performance Model has 4 pillars. It is based on science, experience, empirical data and most importantly, results. We want you to be able to take our principles, systems, and ideologies and implement them into your business.

At Varsity House Gym, we strive for the Gold Standard. The gold standard is about creating a culture, a set of principles, and systems that will separate you in the industry.

As a coach, trainer, or business owner you should be able to justify your knowledge with the amount of experience and results you have to show for.

Most importantly, we understand the world of sports Performance can be extremely complicated. Our goal with this piece is to help you step by step, spark curiosity, create a culture, develop principles, and implement systems that will help you attract more clients, get results, and seperate yourself in the crowded sports performance industry.


The Bigger Picture

Information vs. Over-Analyzation

Training Systems

Your Preconceived Belief Systems

Filtering and Acquiring New Information

Creating Your Training Principles & Systems

Create Your Training Model

The VH Health and Performance Model

Breaking Down Our Programming

The Bigger Picture

Everyone loves the X’s and O’s. I’m guilty myself. I want to deep dive AFIR (Acetabular Femoral Internal Rotation) as it pertains to one’s gait cycle. I just got done with a 6 month neurology course for sports performance.

However, as I’ve gained more experience, I’ve realized that the infrastructure and foundation of my learning is much more important than “gathering” more information for the sake of it.

We live in a very progressive and ground-breaking time in the field of sports performance. Everybody wants to be the best strength and conditioning coach, physical preparation specialist, technological guru, and what have you.

They want to show they are pioneers in the industry by manifesting brand-new training methodologies through research, innovative exercises, technological advancements, and advanced programming strategies. There’s one problem, though. They lack training principles and systems within their business.

When I consult other coaches in our VH Education Community Group, before we get into the principles of training, I always take this global approach. I force you to look at the infrastructure of your training principles, your systems, and most importantly, your culture.

New multifaceted information in our field is prodigious. Yet, the best coaches in the world take complicated matters and simplify them so that everybody can understand, use, and help more people.

As coaches, it is our responsibility to provide our clients, athletes, and colleagues the best information.

In our gym, I believe we have revolutionized the way we train individuals by implementing the latest research, promoting individuality within a team setting, managing many personalities, and creating a culture that fosters athletes who are hungry, humble, and committed to excellence.

As coaches, we wear many masks. It is our responsibility to prepare our clients, not only physically, but mentally as well. We are put in unique positions that allow us to demand respect, honesty, and above all, trust.

So I challenge you, in your opinion - what makes a great coach?

From our experiences, it’s the ability to lead—to make things happen, maximize resources, and inspire. It’s the extraordinary quality that solves problems and helps the client come to a new level of understanding what is possible. It’s the skill and talent to influence and guide our clients to make real breakthroughs and create lasting change.

Great coaches have vision. They understand where their clients and athletes are psychologically and physically.

Coaching extends well beyond directing activity. A team of 15 athletes is a team of 15 individuals, each with a different upbringing, temperament, and external influences, all brought together for one common goal.

It’s impossible to be a great coach with effective programming without taking into account one’s belief systems, principles, and influence on the individuals you work with.

In order to effectively acquire new information and apply it you must develop and fine tune your systems in a step by step process so that you can discern new information, apply what is useful, and do away with what is unneeded.

When, you’re ready, grab a notebook, a pen, and be ready to participate.


Education should be at the forefront of every coach’s career. Unfortunately, I can assure you, it will not be the separating factor.

There are plenty of individuals who are extremely “intelligent” but struggle to find clients because they lack the interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence to maintain long-term relationships.

Contrarily, there are individuals who are great “people persons” but struggle to find clients because they cannot separate themselves from others who are more intelligent.

This notion is the ultimate conundrum we face as coaches and business owners.

We chase CEU’s, attend several seminars and conferences each year to hoard “knowledge.”

We have pioneer leaders such as Brett B. who have pursued the latter.

Where is the line?

We all hoard knowledge, but we have trouble deciphering between what is useful and what is not.

This vessel must be built between bridges. The bridge between new information and with your currently held knowledge and beliefs in a specified context, is when that information truly becomes useful.

A bridge can’t be constructed unless there are two sides. On one side, you have new information coming in, waiting to be organized, and used. On the other side, you need to structure your current knowledge and experience into simple systems.

Actionable TAKEAWAY: What Are 3 Systems of Training that You Currently Have in Place?


Systems provide a foundational structure to be able to add or subtract from, when new information is presented. There is a vast world of fitness information, training modalities, and variables to consider when coaching. The complexity can be overwhelming and anxiety-provoking.

Some methods may hold more value in the eyes of others. However, the “right” training method is in the eye of the client.

Oftentimes we have too much training knowledge, imagine that.

We get blinded by the ability to deliver our message in a clear, conscious manner which lands appropriately on the ears of potential clients and individuals you’re going to work with.

Systems are models, principles, and processes that are a collection of what you deem to be important, believe are the best practices, and an organization method to direct your actions.

So, how can we filter what we want, need, and what is applicable?

A filtering framework will help you deepen your understanding, create consistency, build confidence and extract useful avenues of information while simultaneously avoiding the overwhelming realm of limitlessness information.

If you have basic structure within simple systems, you will be able to acquire various sources of content but consolidate the information into your specific context. The structure will remain to provide predictability value, but it allows you to attain new tools that will be necessary at different times.

The usefulness of a filtering framework comes from the ability to think of new information within your own context, systems, and problems when you are listening to a speaker or reading a book. New information can be extracted to improve your systems, solve your problems, or fill gaps in your understanding.

“Learning is a process of exploration, and learning is at the foundation of any transformation.”

– Todd Bumgardner


You’re sitting down to write out the new phase of your client, athlete, or team’s training program…

When you are determining what your athletes and their sport require, you are tapping into your belief system about what training is.

Everything that you put in your program is based on underlying training principles that you believe in.

A belief system is a set of principles or tenets which together form the basis of a religion, philosophy, or moral code.

In the context of this article, your strength and conditioning coaching belief system is formulated by your principles of sport training and exercise. These interconnected set of principles organize and create inherent qualities of mind and character in relation to behavior (as a coach).

Another definition for a belief system is a cognitive framework that helps to predict potential outcomes, thus assisting to better regulate our emotional disposition to an anomaly.

Therefore, your training belief system includes what you interpret as important in the weight room, the interventions you create for a desired outcome in training, and your emotional and behavioral response to training/a trainer that may be different from your own style.

What you view as important in the weight room are your underlying principles as a coach. You use these principles for your program analysis, design, and coaching.

How you feel towards something that deviates from what is normal, standard, or expected and how you respond to it, taps into your system of beliefs and underlying personality structure.

Any time you get into thoughts about, is this good or bad and how you respond to what is good or bad, you are tapping into your belief systems.

  • What is the overall annual, macro, micro, and daily theme?
  • How do we transition between phases of training?
  • Is this good or bad program design?
  • Is this good or bad exercise selection?
  • Is this good or bad exercise technique?


Constructing and navigating is the process of directing action steps from where you currently are to where you want to be. The components of a successful trainer or mentor is often what you will use to judge where you want to be.

Discerning qualities from others, exploring different resources, and seeking answers, in a specific direction, will allow you to be the best version of yourself.

The key? Don’t embed yourself into one system and use jargon to create miscommunication.

After you have created your own framework based on the understanding of where you currently are, your recognition of your knowledge, beliefs, and experiences - you can now begin to dive deep into the nitty gritty details.


Take some time to reflect in the following:

  • What do the overarching principles of my program look like?
  • Where do these principles originate from?
  • What does an annual, macro, micro training session look like?
  • When you are preparing a session, what is your current thought process?


What physical qualities do you prioritize and why?

What does a 4, 6, or even 8 week block look like, why?

How do you account for injuries?

How do you account for non physical stress in individuals?

What does your current training template look like?

Why do you sequence exercises the way you do?

If you answered, “I’ve seen it this way or I’ve always done it like this” - there’s a gap in your ability to understand your belief systems and principles.

Moving forward you can deepen your understanding by adding and subtracting from your currently held rationale. Awareness of this gap in rationale will help you extract information from resources.

Knowing the ‘how’ is extremely important but through writing down ‘where you are,’ your continuing education will be more effective in expanding your reasoning for the ‘how’.

This will improve your ability to identify what you’re looking for, how to make changes, and communicate why it is important to you.

This will also allow you to have a model to add and subtract from as you learn new information. How you teach your principles may stay the same but your rationale may deepen.

Use information in new situations

Apply these systems deliberately. Most likely, you are already doing these things, however, I want you to draw and write them out, then test them.

For example, read your process for programming before you write a new clients program.

  1. Were your systems effective and efficient?
  2. Did your systems create confidence in your actions?
  3. What questions do you have from applying your process?
  4. Did you have any problems?
  5. What gaps in your process need to be filled?

Now you have questions. Now you have problems. Now you can seek answers. Now you can seek solutions. This will direct your learning and direction when filtering resources.

This is where the magic happens. You begin to draw connections between different sequences of learning. You begin to experience more ah-ha moments!

Your model is a system that is used as an example to follow or imitate. It should also include your processes for decision making (assessment-intervention-outcome), organizing, reflecting, critiquing, and adapting.Now you can support, critique, and produce new work moving forward

You now have a supporting structure to formulate questions, seek answers, acquire new information, consolidate the information into something useful, and lead you in a desired direction. Now, you can welcome new information by listening to speakers, attending seminars, and reading books to evolve and transform.

Stay Tuned for This 3 Part Series.

Adam Menner