There are more systems, methods and approaches when it comes to exercise than ever before, all promoting different slants on the best and most efficient way to get in shape. Especially with summer on our doorstep, it’s hard not to get distracted by the latest fitness “trends” in the media.
But how different are all of these different training methods and which one will work best for our specific requirements?
Once you cut through the smoke and mirrors and boar down into the foundations of all of these programmes the effective ones are all based on the same underlying principles.
And for me, these are the top five you should look out for, whatever system and method of training you go for.
If you are serious about getting results, you need to train with a specific goal in mind. At times we all feel the need a to just mix it up and ‘get a sweat on’, but if we do this every time we workout, we are likely to see limited results over the long term. We need to avoid the march of futility, by setting the right goals and focusing on a plan to get there.
Pick a goal and train for it.
Any successful training programme or method will have movement quality at its core. Resistance training is likely to be beneficial for us all, but we must develop technical proficiency before we pick up the weights and start doing lots of reps.
Always ensure quality (of movement) before you increase the quantity (weight, reps and sets). Too many approaches and methods ignore this, which will make our training less effective and increase our risk of injury.
The term functional is one of those fitness buzzwords which most of us have absolutely no idea of the real meaning. To decide whether something is functional or not, consider these three points:
Does the movement resemble the activity itself?
Is it producing force in the same way?
And, is it working your cardiovascular system in the way that you need it too?
Exercises that tick these boxes could be deemed functional, or more simply, make you fit for purpose.
One of the keys to long term results and exercise adherence is efficiency. Too many programmes have adopted the ‘more is better’ approach, which is not necessarily the best way to get in shape over the long term. The key to a good workout is the challenge the body to do more that it is used to. This doesn’t mean though that we need to annihilate the system in order to get good results.
The key is to stimulate the system with the minimum effective dose, which will deliver continued results over time.
The truth is that exercise can be boring and for most of us in general fitness what we really want is exer-tain-ment, in order to keep things fresh and engaging. I get it, I am not different, but the reality is that too many of us make too many changes, too often.
Planned variations are essential we you want to challenge our body to change, but change for changes is sake is not necessary. The trick is to keep the mainstays of your programme, such as resistance training, pretty constant, whilst varying other areas, such as your conditioning, or cardio, elements.
If you have any questions on the above or would like some advice on how we could help you with your fitness goal, don’t hesitate, visit our gym and try one of our small group personal training sessions.
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