Programming for Sleep, Eat, Move, Manage

There’s a lot more to fitness than your WOD.

Your clients need more. They need:

  • Movement and exercise coaching (of course)
  • Nutrition coaching
  • Help with their sleep and recovery
  • Help with managing their life and mindset.


In the Two-Brain Coaching courses, we refer to these as SEMM (Sleep, Eat, Move, Manage).

Delivering SEMM requires more client interaction and customization. But you can still deliver a general inclusive program.


For example:

SEMM 070120

Sleep 7 hours ( >7 6 <5)
Eat (Green Yellow Red) (according to the NutritionRx scale)
Move: “Josh
21-15-9 reps, with a 400m run following each, for time:
Thrusters (choose top weight for force production)
<10:00 <15:00 DNF
Five minutes of daily mindfulness meditation
>5:00 >5:00 DNF

What do the Green, Yellow and Red numbers mean? Well, a client’s goal is to get “all green” in SEMM each day if possible.

Green is the goal.

Yellow is pretty good – still a win on the day.

Red is a missed opportunity to improve.

“Green” score denotes proximity to goal, not “forging eliteness”. Goals and programming should also be tailored by a client’s coach.

In the above workout, “Green” for Sleep is >7 hours. 6 hours of sleep is Yellow. Less than 6 hours is Red.

Completing the “Josh” workout in under 10 minutes is Green. Completing the workout in under 15 minutes is Yellow. Failure to complete the workout is Red. My “Rx” weight in the workout should be prescribed by the coach based on maximal force production.


My “Green” for nutrition will be different from your “Green”, depending on my goals.


Coaches learn how to make these prescriptions in the Two-Brain Coaching First Degree, Second Degree and Nutrition Coaching courses (Mindfulness Coaching Course coming soon!)


Another example:

SEMM 070220
Sleep>9 7-9 >7
EatGreen Yellow Red
Move: Accumulate 35 minutes in Heart Rate Zone 2 (60-70% of max).
Warm up for 10 minutes in Heart Rate Zone 1.
Cool down for 5 minutes in Heart Rate Zone 1.
>35 minutes 15-35 minutes DNF
Manage: Manage: 5 minute daily mindfulness practice  >5:00 <5:00 DNF
In this example, the client is prescribed extra sleep because it’s the end of a 3-day training cycle. They’re to follow their Nutrition goals and rate their adherence. The “Move” workout is up to the coach, and can be delivered 1:1 or in a group setting, but the client should be told the purpose of the workout and how it will benefit them. Finally, the daily mindfulness practice can be delivered in person OR online.
Notice that just showing up for the Move and Manage pieces is sufficient for Yellow. Red means they didn’t do it at all.
If the goal of Move is 35 minutes in HRZ2, the coach can program a workout from a huge variety of options.
They can take the client (or a group) out for a run.
They can wave intervals of high intensity with mandatory recovery periods dictated by heart rate.
They can have the client or group do burpees until the target heart rate zone is exceeded, and then rest.
They can prescribe 100 Thrusters with a mandatory stop every time HRZ2 is exceeded.
There are infinite options. And tomorrow’s Move portion might be task-specific (ie “Do this for time”.)
A client judges their progress by scoring themselves at the end of the day.
Four Greens: amazing forward progress. Their health is improving.
Three Greens, one Yellow: Really good.
Four Yellows: they’re doing the work. Coach should focus on one area to target for Green.
Four Reds: client isn’t improving. Focus on one area and eliminate the rest until solid habits are built.
In-Person vs Group
Client retention and adherence is maximized through 1:1 interaction. However, clients can still do their workouts or challenges in a group setting, as long as the programming is customized.
Coaches should determine what “Green” means for a specific client in each SEMM category.
For example, to finish the “Josh” workout in under 15:00, you might need to use a barbell with 135lbs; I might need to use a barbell with 65lbs.
Likewise, “Green” in the Manage category might be 30 minutes for me, and 5 minutes for you.
The general SEMM programming is broad, general and inclusive, but like ANY programming, should be tailored for each client in a coaching business.
In-Person vs Online
Programming for SEMM makes coaching online easier. Since 3 of the 4 SEMM categories can be delivered online as easily as in-person, this daily delivery makes it easier to coach online. And with broad prescriptions in the Move category, online coaches can tailor the workouts to a client’s equipment and space.
Delivering your coaching with the SEMM model is a new concept. This blog post is for illustrative purposes to help coaches see what programming could mean for their clients.



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