As I continue on in my pursuit of bettering myself both as a personal trainer and my own fitness, I am trying to figure out what the best possible way to workout is. Not for just next week or next month, but for the long-haul.
With the internet comes endless amounts of workout ideas. Many are good, many are bad, and a lot are just plain silly. I’m fortunate enough to have the experience and education understand the difference between good and bad, but I also can fall into the trap of wanting to try the latest and greatest trends. Well, at least I used to. Thankfully I have come to grips with just training how I need to and not how I want to, at least some of the time.
Workout programs are great, in fact, if you follow a solid workout program from a respected fitness professional, you have a good chance at making progress. That is if you follow it from start to finish. And that’s the problem. Most of us don’t finish a workout Program from start to finish and that’s just fine. It’s hard,
I get it. Being strapped to doing the same exercises, sets, and reps for a given period of time can leave us eager to try new things and detour from what we should be doing. No big deal, things could be worst. In the end, just showing up and doing some work can be good enough most of the time.
This is why I like to follow principles and templates. They provide a roadmap that can keep you on the right track and provide direction. Sure, it may not be the perfect program but it provides balance, fundamentals, and makes sense. The ability to adjust and shift when life hits you with unforeseen obstacles is imperative. The biggest thing you need to remember is just show up and keep moving. If you can do that over a long period of time, regardless of how you workout, the likelihood of you succeeding is pretty good.
Keeping all of this in mind, I have come up with 3 categories of workouts that you can choose from. Each one has a goal for where you will be at during a given period of time. Meaning, if you need to lose fat more then get strong, you need to focus on that. If you are coming off an injury or have taken a period time off of working out, you may need to work on mobility.
Workout Training Phases
As we all go through phases in our life so should our workouts. Below I have briefly outlined what you should do for three different phases of life you may come across:
1.Take it easy
You may have just went through a tough time and have not been in the gym, just ran a marathon, or just don’t have the time and energy to workout hard as you want to. Here is what I suggest you do:
Movement Improvement – work on just moving like walking, hiking, crawling, rolling, soft tissue work and anything that gets you out of a chair.
Mobility and flexibility work is great here, yoga for example.
Focusing on building a strong Core with planks and the like is good, too.
2. Prime the pump
this is where you want to get in and lift some weights. Not too heavy, not too much. Keeping workouts at 30-45 minutes will work. Go for the “pump”, meaning lift a load for say 8-15 reps that is demanding but not a struggle and gets the blood moving 3-4 days a week. A little cardio mixed in is good too.
Hypertrophy training is great here.
3. Light it up
it’s time to step up the game. You want to get stronger and/or improve cardio in this phase.
Strength training with heavier loads, 3-8 reps, is where you want to live when it comes to the weights.
Hard Cardio with intervals, Tabata, AMRAP, or just running hard all work for cardio.
Life can bring unexpected challenges. Your body will, too. Be prepared and always keep moving no matter what. It’s not always the intensity but it is always the consistency.
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