View Full Version : Jim Giant's Adherence/Reward Template V1

Jim Giant
6/11/2016 4:03pm,
I'd like feedback on this fitness template I've put together, positive or negative.

This template is designed for the average guy/girl, especially those who have struggled adhering to programs in the past. Obsessive fitness nuts however would be better off with other programs designed to fit their goals.

So far I'm trialling this on my girlfriend (Olivia), she's strong as hell but sometimes has trouble getting motivated for other aspects of fitness and disability places certain restrictions on what she can do and when.

There are lots of fantastic programs out there but a common issue I see is that if you're not getting close to 100% adherence they lose the majority of their benifits. Unfortunately the average person isn't great at adhering to programs, they'll skip days frequently due to lack of motivation, complicated work schedules or any number of other reason.

This template however fully embraces this fact, it should drastically improve fitness even with a 60% adherence and aims to improve adherence over time through rewards.


What sets this apart from other programs is rather than just tracking exercise performance this template also has you earning points each week for every exercise you perform. At the end of each day you mark off how many exercises you did on a tally chart and total it up at the end of each week.

You are allowed to treat yourself for achieving certain adherence thresholds.
As standard these thresholds will be:
Tier 1 treat for 67%
Tier 2 treat for 100% (plus the tier 1 treat)

Treats can be anything as long as they aren't 1000s of calories, they don't have to be food but allowing yourself a desert once a week would be a good example.

For people who really struggle you may want to start with 50% and 75% or lower and add 2.5% each week till you reach 75% and 100%.

Scoring you like a video game and getting rewards should physiologically give greater motivation to do what you're supposed to do. I'd recommend the program and tally chart be stuck on your fridge or anywhere other people can see it giving you another reason to to have high adherence and not look like a loser.


This template could be made more complicated by awarding a different number of points depending on the exercise and having more reward tiers. You can do this if you want but people are often put off by complexity so that's why I'm keeping this simple.

You may need to track your exercise performance on an app or notebook but the program itself plus adherence chart should easily fit on to a sheet of letter (A4) paper with big writing.

Takes in to account equipment, lifestyle limitations

This goes without saying but not everyone has access to a decent gym with every piece of possible equipment so this needs to be factored in. Using Olivia's program as an example she only has gym access on Fridays so this is the only free weight session. She has a pullup bar at home so we make use of that and the rest is callisthenics.


The vast majority of exercises need some form of progression. For strength increase weight reps or sets and for flexibility try to stretch further each time etc. For detailed information about a sensible progression scheme ask me or a qualified trainer.

High frequency training and aim to workout every day

High frequency is important for most naturals but for this template frequency is essential. For each aspect of fitness and each body part you want to improve you should have at least 3 exercises on different days. This way if you don't comply on a given day you're still training the movement twice that week which is enough to see great progress if you push yourself.

The template should have some form of exercise every day. Some of the workouts might only be 15 minutes but getting started is the hardest part for a lot of people and this should help habit forming.

Additional exercise aren't awarded points but are strongly encouraged.

The actual details and exercise selection of the program should be customised depending on the individual's goals by somebody who knows what they are doing but the principles I've laid out need to be adhered to or your aren't running my template.

Here is a sample program I wrote for Olivia using this template as a guideline.

*Rail squats and squat pulls are squat variations I've created to work around her disability till she's able to use a barbell.

Jim Giant
6/18/2016 7:08am,
At the end of week 1 and adherence has been very good (27 out of 29 points). Normally she'd have done about a quarter of this exercise not including the Friday gym session.

Even the fittest of us often have aspects of training we don't like or try to avoid whether it be stretching, cardio, solo drills etc. The simple act of tracking your adherence, holding yourself accountable and allowing yourself a small reward however could in theory do wonders towards getting you to actually do it.

If anyone wants to try this template let me know. I'd like to test this with a few people to see for a month or two so I have some data to see how effective it is.

Olivia in action: