STRUCTURING YOUR OWN TRAINING PROGRAM?
BE SURE TO FOLLOW THESE STEPS:
- WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS?
- WHAT TRAINING METHODS WILL I USE?
- WHAT EXERCISES WILL I CHOOSE?
- TRAINING SPLITS.
- TRAINING BLOCKS.
- WRITTEN PLAN
- SEEK ADVICE WHEN NEEDED
The most common mistake we see people make when they train is that that they don’t have a structured training PLAN that aligns their training program to the specific GOALS that they wish to achieve!
Another common mistake is that people change their program and exercises every single session. Therefore, they don’t progressively overload, improve or target specific areas of the body.
The third most common thing that creates mistakes is that people panic when they enter a gym. This often causes ‘mind blanks’ when they are trying to decide what and how to train – this can result in them doing a program or exercise they should not or did not want to do.
“If you are failing to prepare, then you are preparing to fail…”
So follow this simple method I use that I think can allow you to create your own specific and tailored plan.
THERE IS ALWAYS METHOD TO THE MADNESS
STEP 1: WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS?
What are you actually trying to achieve out of the following Fitness Components?
It may be a combination of a few, if this is the case THEN prioritize them from 1 – 5 (see point five: Time)
STEP 2: WHAT TRAINING METHOD WILL I USE:
This is when you need to align what method is actually specific to your goals in STEP ONE.
Maximal Strength Requirements:
5 sets+ of 1 – 5 reps
Time Under Tension (TUT): 0- 20s
Rest Periods: 3- 5 minutes
“I might use the 5 x 5 method used by many strength coaches and key powerlifters to target maximal strength.”
Example of this may be doing 3 x Full Body Weight sessions of 4 main exercises to promote strength gains.
> 30 minutes
Heart Rate > 85% of Maximal Heart Rate
“I might try continuous training when the athlete performs the same activity at the same intensity for a specified duration of time – i.e. 30 mins.”
Examples of this training method include going for a run at a set speed or riding an exercise bike at a set intensity. This would be best for sports such as long distance rowing, marathon running or long distance swimming because it more closely replicates the sport (specificity).
Examples of other aerobic methods: Fartlek training, interval training & circuit training.
STEP 3: WHAT EXERCISES AM I GOING TO USE?
1. What are my weaknesses? We recommend doing a pre-screening test to uncover these.
2. What do I want to focus on as my main muscle groups?
3. Do I need to improve unilaterally?
4. What are my pre-existing injuries and how do I improve/prevent these from re-occurring?
The answers to these questions should determine your priorities and allow you to select an appropriate:
5. Exercise Order: We often recommend training your priority areas and global muscles initially in the program and you are more isolated/less energy consuming exercises towards the end. This will help you determine the training program order/
STEP 4: TRAINING SPLITS.
1. Frequency: How many times a week can I realistically train?
2. What will push me to progressively overload without pushing me beyond my capabilities?
3. How do I want to ‘pair’ up my muscle groups or training sessions?
4. What days so I want to do my high, medium and low volume running sessions?
5. When are my rest days?
6. How long are our training sessions?
If you understand your training frequency and training splits then it allows you to have a structured plan that allows you to maximise your physical output. Adequate splits will give some body parts rest while the other is trained. This prevents overtraining and injury.
STEP 5: TRAINING BLOCKS
1. How long am I going to spend on this specific training phase?
We often recommend 4-week microcycle blocks.
You will still have the same LONG-TERM goal that you are working towards but a specific microcycle is when you are training specifically on a fitness component or training method that is progressing towards achieving this long term goal*.
The body is challenged in a new and specific way which will promote growth and change.
It allows you to prioritize an area for a short term period.
Most people generally get bored when there isn’t a variety of training. Having structured training blocks also prevents fatigue and overtraining.
* If you have a number of fitness components that you want to work on you need to have microcycle goals for each of these.
2 x 4-week strength blocks
1 x 4-week power block
1 x 4-week speed
It is important to not focus on too many major goals at once.
STEP 6: RECOVERY
The unsung hero.
The more you work = the more time you need to spend recovering.
Our human bodies are unfortunately not as elastic as they once were when we were kids. Our muscle fascia, joints and central nervous system all need recovery methods AND time to restore our body.
Select a few of the following methods:
2. Foam Rolling/ Stretching
3. Cold water Immersion
4. Dry Needling
5. Gentle Walking/Swimming
Whatever suits you, schedule it into your weekly planner.
I recommend spending 25% of the amount of time that you spend training with recovery and spread it out over the week.
i.e. If you spend 6 hours training per week you need to spend 1.5 hours of recovery per week.
STEP 7 – HAVE A DOCUMENTED PLANNER
1. Set up a monthly planner.
2. Tick you sessions when they are done.
3. Reward yourself at the end of each month to reinforce your positive behaviour.
STEP 8 – ASK FOR HELP
If you are someone who has a niggling injury – consult a Physio/Osteo depending on what the injury is. If you are struggling for motivation or to understand what training program you should be on, consult a Strength & Conditioning coach.
If you need help let us know,
Strength & Conditioning Coach