How to Structure Your Training Session

As a GMB Trainer, a structure I use for my own training and the training of my clients follows a format called, the The GMB Fitness 5ps.  The 5Ps is the structure that GMB trainers use to build training sessions in a way that’s fun and effective. You also see coaches of all sports and disciples do the same thing. They Prep, then Practice, then Play some live scenario, and then Push themselves through conditioning. The last P is Ponder and every athlete should be doing this before, during, and after their training. However, in the traditional gym setting you’ll normal see something like this:

  • 5 minute walk on the treadmill

  • Lift something for a particular body part until you can lift those limbs anymore

  • Repeat with more exercises

  • Call it a day

I take my training seriously, but not too seriously. Having fun and being safe is an extremely important part of my training with myself and my clients. When you’re having fun, you’re more likely to be consistent, see results, and be safe. Something that you don’t want while you workout is to get injured. That’s never the plan but it’s a byproduct of many things like not having an adequate warm up, improper technique, going too hard all the time (after maybe weeks of taking a break because it’s only sustainable for a few weeks). Make your training sessions fun and prepare for the tasks at hand properly and you’ll want to workout each day at a pace that you can handle forever.

So if you’re more of a watcher, here’s a video describing the 5Ps (Joint Prep follow along included)

Prep: Think of this as conditioning the joints. This is your warm up portion of your training to increase your body temperature, increase your range of motion, improve your focus, activate required muscles, and get you ready for exercise by mimicking the motions with easier exercises. 

Practice: Think of this as conditioning the brain. This will be your skill work which will most likely be balance, heaviest resistance, or power. This is at the beginning of the session so that you’re fresh while you’re performing the skill. 

Play: Think of this as conditioning your creativity. The nice thing about play is that it’s the easiest to add to a session and can fit in anywhere. For someone else, my prep could’ve been someone else’s play. This is where you can challenge yourself with another skill, put skills together, explore your strengths and weak links, experiment with grips and variations. 

Push: Think of this as conditioning your muscles. Here is the traditional gym session where you can focus on the “pump”. For practice you’re avoiding soreness, but for your push soreness isn’t as bad. Still, I don’t like getting sore so I might just do extra sets of play (which can still get you sore). 

Ponder: Think of this as conditioning your mind. How present were you during the session and how does your plan, skill work, and conditioning add to what you want to accomplish? This is a good time to visualize your movements, check in and see how you feel, and think both big and small picture stuff. 

Do you train using the 5Ps?  I’d love to help you! Send me a DM @eorihuela or shoot me an email at

Let’s do this together.

Eduardo Orihuela