Re: The Foundations of Personal Training
When asked for his 30-day plan leading up to the Olympic finals, an Olympic-level coach is probably not going to say, "I dunno, I always make it up as I go." No, chances are he's probably got a fairly specific template on paper already. He might have even given lectures on exactly how to plan the last few weeks leading into a big meet. And yes, plans have to be flexible.
I know in weightlifting most coaches know exactly how they want the workout to go 4 weeks out from a big meet. For example, from a spreadsheet I got from Mike Burgener, on a Saturday, 4 weeks out, a lifter with a 172kg snatch/226kg clean & jerk would be scheduled to do the following:
Snatch: 85x2 102.5x2 120x2 130x1 137.5x1x5
Clean & Jerk: 112.5x2 135x2 157.5x2 170x1 180x1x5
no squats that day
Mike always adjusts this plan, give or take a few kilos, depending on how the lifter was feeling that day. But the point is he knows exactly how he wants that workout on that day to go and he'll know it a long time in advance.