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Should You Be On A Training Program?

When you go into the gym you can spot who’s training professionally and who’s training session to session. Let me point out that there’s nothing wrong with training session to session but it will only leave you with temporary results because nothing is measured and nothing is planned or structured.

Person A goes into her session with no plan, she’s got a goal of being fitter and changing her body composition (dropping some body fat). She decides to train legs that day, squats, walking lunges, leg curls, hip thrusts and finishing off with some ab work.

It sounds like a good day at the gym and she’s gone all out training as hard as she can on all her exercises, she’s stoked and she should be because she’s put in effort to her training. Though the next week when she comes around to doing the same workout she finds it a little bit harder to progress on her training, or because she hasn’t tracked her performance she’s still performing at the same rate she was previously. This leads to de-motivation, excitement diminished and the next week looking for another workout that’s going to give her the endorphin and dopamine release she craves.

Results & confidence comes from seeing progression.

Person B comes into the gym knowing exactly what she’s going to be doing, from her warm up, exercises, reps, sets and she’s got a fair idea of how her performance is going to be for the day.

Her training program is planned months or even weeks in advance. Everything is tracked from her body composition measurements and performance in the gym. She knows going into the gym next week how she’s going to progress from her previous workout.

This builds confidence, she’s seeing herself get stronger and stronger each week. Getting better and better at a specific exercises and progressing to a more advanced one.

What training on a results based program should look like:

1. Assessing your current condition. Know where your current strengths and weaknesses are. Muscular and structural imbalances, body composition, nutrition and past and current training methods. From there you can structure a training program that’s going to get you from A-B.

2. Have a specific and individual training and nutrition program. Now that you have information on where you’re currently at you can structure a training program that’s going to advance you towards your goal. As a general rule of thumb start with more complex exercises and strength exercises at the start and then more simpler accessory or conditioning exercises towards the end of your workout. Your body will usually adapt to a training program after 4-6 weeks.

Example: Legs

A: Deadlifts (Complex strength)
B1: DB Split Squats (Complex accessory)
B2: 45 Degree Hyper Extension (Complex accessory)
C1: DB Squats (Simple accessory)
C2: Lying Leg Curl (Simple accessory)
D: Sled Sprint (Simple conditioning)

3. Tracking your performance. If you’re not getting stronger, fitter, faster or mobile than you’re not going to have a reason for it to change. Small incremental increases with your strength each week can stimulate massive changes to your body composition over a couple of months time. Write down your weights during or after your session. This also saves you time during your next session not having to wonder and worry about what what you’re going to be doing, you can get straight into your workout knowing what weight you need to use to get stronger.

4. Lifestyle considerations. Rest, recovery, supplementation and whatever else. For e.g. Stress load from work and minimal sleep can impact someones ability to recover so instead of training 5 days a week 4 days might be better.

5. Reward. When you achieve results don’t forget to reward yourself. Personal bests should always be celebrated.

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