Exercise Program Design: Some Basics Before Starting

Program design is one of the most complex aspects of a person’s fitness routine. What we often see is people doing one of the following:

  • Following someone else’s workout routine
  • Following a generic routine online
  • Taking up at 30 Day fitness challenge
  • Aimlessly entering the gym and trying equipment out
  • Completing workout videos
  • Taking Crossfit, aerobic or bootcamp classes

Can one benefit from this training? Of course.  What is neglected is all of the other components of a person’s plan that are integrated to create the desired goal.

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For example:

  • Do calories meet the person’s activity levels?
  • Does exercise regimen compliment the person’s work schedule?
  • Do the person’s fitness goals match up with the mode of exercise?
  • Does this type of training suit the individual?

This section is NOT a how to course on how to design a program or a be all end all creative workshop on how to schedule your week.  It will, however, touch on a few key points.

HIRE A PROFESSIONAL

I mentioned this point because it makes life a lot easier.  You are leveraging the expertise of a trained professional and saving yourself time and frustration in the process.

Have a seasoned Coach design a program for you that takes into account your own unique situation and have that Coach track your progress, modifying the plan as you move through its stages and as your body changes. You coach needs to know you well, from the standpoint of your work schedule, your nutrition regiment, your health, goals, etc.  These are all integrated.

THERE IS NO BEST PROGRAM OUT THERE

What works for others may not work for you.  What is most important when developing a workout structure is deciding how exercise will fit into your workweek.

Questions to Ask:

  1. What are your goals?
  2. How many days a week can you train?
  3. What days are designated as off days?
  4. When during the day can you train?
  5. How much time do you have for training on designated days?
  6. Do you have access to a gym, class or equipment at home?
  7. Does your schedule mesh with your family/work?

HERE IS A SAMPLE SCENARIO:

Busy Professional working 50 hours per week, and needing weekends off.

SOME TRAINING OPTIONS: (THIS IS JUST A FEW SAMPLE STRUCTURES)

3 DAY PER WEEK WORKOUT ROUTINE

Model A:  Full body workouts

(Monday, Wednesday, Friday)

Model B:  Day 1: Full body     Day 2: Upper Body       Day 3: Lower Body

(Monday, Wednesday, Friday)

4 DAY PER WEEK WORKOUT ROUTINE

Model A:  Day 1 Upper Body      Day 2 Lower Body

Day 1 Workout: Monday and Thursday

Day 2 Workout: Tuesday and Friday

Model B: 3 Day Split

Day 1: Push Movements Upper Body  Day 2: Pull Movements Upper Body  Day 3: Legs  Day 4: Full Body

(Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday)

KEY POINT:

HAVE A STRUCTURE IN PLACE

THAT YOU ROUTINELY FOLLOW

THAT WORKS FOR YOU

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UNDERSTAND THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN INTENSITY & VOLUME

The HIGHER the INTENSITY  ——  The LOWER the VOLUME of training

If you are going to exercise with High Intensity, you need to keep these workouts shorter and take the necessary days off to recuperate.

If you choose more of a low intensity strategy of training, these workout can be longer and you can train more frequently throughout the week

This principle applies to individual workout, weekly schedules as well as training modules that may last anywhere from 2-10 weeks.

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PROPER RECOVERY IS CRUCIAL

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Just as not providing the proper stimulus of training (Ie. Not training hard enough nor frequently enough) produces very little results, “More is Better” is a great principle for economics but does not necessarily apply to exercise and fitness.

Contrary to what some “gurus” say, overtraining is a reality.  You do not grow in the gym. You grow outside of the gym when certain conditions (Proper nutrition, hydration, sleep, low stress) are met.

CONCLUSION

I cannot stress enough how diet, exercise and rest are VITALLY interrelated. All three must be in sync for you to continue to make progress.

YOUR NEXT STEP

  1. Join the GameChanger Facebook Group.  Here is where you can ask questions and find out more, through dialogue of what may be best for you.
  2. Tune in to one of the Online Workshops, again learning and being able to interact so that you can get your questions answered.
  3. Register for Coaching.  Take the guesswork out of program design so that the most efficient, most effective path to progress is followed.

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