FITNESS PROGRAMMING 101
Alright, alright. Before diving into the actual programming itself, you need to define the foundation of your program. One of the best parts of creating a fitness program is that it is incredibly individualistic and is dependent upon everything that YOU are. What are your goals? Losing weight, building strength, focusing on endurance? Perhaps, a combo? What’s your availability? Age? Nutrition? Lifting? Sport-focused? Marathon runner? These goals will help shape your entire fitness program as well as your body.
It is very common for people that go to the gym to focus on exercising. Exercise is physical activity that results in effects of the right now – sweat, maybe a good pump, burning some calories, and being out of breath. There is nothing wrong with exercising. However, it is vital to understand the distinction between exercising and training/developing a fitness program. Even the most elite athletes keep a fitness program to help guide goals, results from those goals, and accountability.
After establishing your what and why, it is then good to focus on your where. Where do you want to work out? At home? In the gym? Outside?
REMEMBER, the best workout is the one that you actually stick to. The easiest way for people to struggle with sticking to their workout is by making it far too complicated and not having an in-depth enough understanding of THE body in general as well as their own. It’s unnecessary, ineffective, and honestly, probably intimidating.
Focus on compound movements as they work multiple muscle groups at the same time and allow the opportunity to focus on mind-muscle connection.
RESEARCH. IMPLEMENT. ADJUST.
Writing a fitness program on your own is tricky. You’re not going to be able to see things that a trainer, coach, or even friend may notice about your body / mindset / abilities / etc. It takes a long time to learn how to train and the type of training that works best for you. Once you’ve created your fitness program, it is beneficial for anyone to get it looked over by another set of eyes. This is to ensure safety, making your workouts worth your while and optimizing your time and results.
Find how / where you want to write your fitness plan – whether it’s a simple sheet of paper, a calendar, your phone, a certain app, etc., make sure you’re using something that is easily accessible and will help keep you on track. You’re going to be working hard enough. You don’t need the burden of trying to remember how many sets of chest presses you’re supposed to hit on a Wednesday afternoon.
Once the fitness program is completed and peer-reviewed (ha!), the next step is to actually implement the thing. After a few weeks into the program, take the time to reflect on what may be missing or what is unrealistic. Adjust accordingly and get to it!