Good Programming Vs Bad Programming

Justifying the way we write our gym programmes at Results FAST is important to me and our personal training clients. The fact is how you do something when you are training matters. Someone once said to me and I agree…

“It is very easy to make someone tired… Any monkey can do it!”

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With the rise of high intensity training and it’s many varied methods it has muddied the water between what is good exercise and what is poor exercise. Now specifically I am looking at resistance training modalities but this could also be applied to most forms of cardiovascular exercise as well. One phrase we often use is…

“Best possible result…. Lease possible effort.”

That does not mean no effort, that means you do enough in your training programme to install the training effect you are looking for, or indeed train to get better, not just tired.

So what are the factors that affect this?

Exercise order is perhaps the most important as often what you do first will dictate the pace and your recovery later on in your training session. It will effect your recovery if intense and in some cases lower your intensity if some of your exercises have a cross over in movements or muscle groups used. While it may be possible to train strength, hypertrophy and muscular endurance in the same session there is going to be a negative effect to development if the session has too many goals which lead me to my second point.

Write programmes, not workouts. Programmes need to be programmed in to a hierarchy of needs. If your goal is fat loss then your programme should be different to a strength programme. A lot of  programmes now tend to blur the boundaries. Every form of training sits on a broad spectrum of facets of fitness to train including strength, mobility and cardiovascular efficiency. What is important is your gains over time- not just a non-directional workout of the day.

Train to improve. Progression is not always a linear pathway when looking at achieving your goals just as hammering yourself in a session is not always the driver for it being a better “fat loss” session. Cycling your training means that you push at the right time so that means that you cycle in your conditioning work with your strength work so that your primary goal is not hampered.

Reassess….. constantly. One thing that I have become a lot better as a coach is to review our approaches and practices. It means we can deliver better sessions to our clients knowing that every time each session has a specific goal. Assessing your progression is only possible if you have a start point. Now that may be to lift a certain weight or perform a certain exercise but by setting that goal and progressing exercises (and if necessary regressing exercises) we have a way not only to manage motivation but also from a goal achievement perspective a way of knowing how we are progressing.

Inefficiency is only good in fat loss and hypertrophy programmes, not in strength and power programmes. If your goal is to get stronger than your programme has to cater for that. In that sense there should be no unnecessary repetitions or extra training volume unless it has a carryover to developing strength levels. The emphasis is on intensity and therefore anything that hampers speed of movement may be counterintuitve to your overall result. In a fat loss programme this is tipped on it’s head. We want to create inefficency of how the energy systems are being challenged in order so they have to go into overdrive to maintain energy turnover. Certain people may have an affinity to work with certain energy systems for instance the difference between distance runners and sprinters. For fat loss creating as big a metabolic disturbance is the key and therefore rotating different training styles is vital for great results. What you find in strength and power training is excessive training volume leads to overuse injuries.

 

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