When constructing a training program, there are many things to consider. Finances, gym memberships, equipment at home, personal goals and available time are all important factors.
Time is usually the biggest obstacle. People “never have enough time” to train. Generally, the first thing a trainee should do is figure out how much time they have available throughout the week to commit to training. It is probably a lot more than the think. These times should be nonnegotiable and dedicated by the trainees for bettering themselves. To start, figure out 2-3 days and times per week with at least a day of rest between each training day.
When starting a program, goals will dictate how you set up your training schedule. Cutting 2 minutes off your 10k will require a different training program than adding 25 lbs to your squat. For most people, 2-3 days of strength training is enough throughout the week. A solid conditioning program will usually require about 3-4 days of training for most people. As a trainee, you can change your goals throughout the year or throughout your lifetime. For example, when there is snow on the ground, it is not as appealing to run outside, so you can switch your goals to gaining strength in the wintertime and gradually switch over to endurance training in the summer when it is fun to be outside. Stick to your program from when you start to when you finish. “Program jumping” is extremely common and will surely slow down your progress or stop it altogether. Having a program and sticking to it ensures that you will not neglect movements or muscle groups and you will not over train other movements and muscle groups. Contact a PACC trainer to help select the exercises that are best for you.
If you want to reach your goals, you should never miss a workout. You should also be flexible enough with your workout where you can move things around in case something comes up. This is where a workout journal comes in handy. Log your workouts and take notes if you really want to be successful. If you missed your goal, you can look back and see where you might have went wrong. Missing workouts or frequently taking long breaks is common among trainees and will guarantee that goals are not met. It is common for people to gravitate towards easy movements like the bench press, bicep curls and general static stretching and neglect movements or activities like squats, deadlifts and sprinting.
When following a program that fits into your life, it becomes a part of your weekly routine. This routine helps with the “not having enough time” component. The trainee shouldn’t have to overthink his/her schedule. Diet/nutrition planning should coincide with your training goals. If you need more carbs, for example, get a rice maker and make rice your day off or a crock-pot and make potatoes. Store them in containers that are easy to grab from the fridge. If you require more protein, consider a protein shake for after training or schedule an evening during the week when you can grill 5-6 chicken breasts/pork loin/steaks that can be stored and later eaten with your carb source. When planning your exercise routine for the next day, look at your workout plan, write down the next workout and visualize how it might go the next day. If solid food choices are available, you are less likely to make poor choices. It’s common for people to come home, starving and eating half a jar of peanut butter with M&M’s because they have no real food available.
Simple planning can help you get through your routine. It allows you to save time, be specific and consistent and reduce stress so you can focus on the other parts