Training plans are a way to break down an individual’s goals, exercise plan, and other physical limitations into a more manageable protocol. They are an effective way to track progress, whether just beginning or working out for years. With that said, they can also be less than ideal if you don’t account for individual needs regarding your overall health and nutritional regimen. What can be done? Here are five tips for choosing the perfect training plan based on your specific needs.
What Is a Training Plan?
A training plan is a structured way of working out, offering a more organized, systematic approach to achieving your goals. They usually vary from one individual to the next but can be simple and complex to accommodate different levels of experience. For example, if you’re just beginning your workout regimen, you might feel more comfortable with a shorter schedule that stresses health over size and strength.
9 Tips For Choosing The Perfect Training Plan
1. Pick a Race
This may seem like an odd suggestion, but it’s a great way to tailor your training plan. If you know that you want to run in a 5K or enter a bodybuilding competition, then it makes sense to focus on specific aspects of training such as long-distance running or weightlifting. Choosing a suitable training program is considerably more accessible when you have a definite goal.
2. Choose a Plan
When you have a general notion of what you want to achieve, then it makes sense to choose the training plan that aligns with your goals. That said, don’t be afraid to mix and match programs. For instance, if you want to focus on strength training for a few months and then do some low-impact cardio later in the year, then it makes sense to choose a split program that allows for additional flexibility.
When it comes to choosing a training plan, consider the following factors:
- Your overall health: Any condition that affects your cardiovascular system should be considered when making a training plan. For instance, if you have an injury in your back, it’s wise to avoid the same type of exercises that may aggravate the issue.
- Your current physical condition: If you’re starting and rehabilitating an injury or other problem, then a general program would make more sense than focusing on only one training area.
- Your personality and lifestyle: If you already have a busy schedule and are trying to add physical activity into your day, then it’s essential to choose a program that allows for that.
- Your goals: If you have a specific goal, then choosing the right training plan can help you achieve it. However, if you’re just getting started and unsure of what you want to achieve, then choosing an appropriate training plan based on your overall health is probably more appropriate.
- Your goals for training: If you have some flexibility regarding when and how you can train, then choosing a flexible plan is probably best. For instance, an interval program would be a great choice if you want to start doing resistance training on Monday and Tuesday but then focus on cardio on Wednesday and Thursday.
- Your physical location: If you’re not very active during the winter months or outside the city, choosing a program that allows for more consistency makes sense.
- Your current level of physical fitness: If you’re already fit and just want to maintain your current fitness level, choosing an easy program is probably ideal.
- Your budget: If you have a limited budget and can only afford secondhand equipment, then opting for a general program is probably best.
3. Start Your Season With Base Training[vc_video link=’https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTPRvVn702A’]
- Sweet Spot Base: This is an excellent program for getting started with strength training. It includes primary lower and upper body exercises and allows for some variety on rest days by including long-distance running or cycling. You’ll still be able to get in a lot of physical activity in the time allotted, but you’ll also have time to complete your other daily activities.
- Sweet Spot Hybrid: This is a great option to move from base training into more advanced strength workouts. The Sweet Spot Hybrid program incorporates some interval cardio during the week but also focuses on strength training. Just be careful when choosing a split based on this program because it can be easy to overtrain, especially if you’re just getting started with strength training.
- Olympic Base: This is another excellent option for beginners and veterans. The beauty of an Olympic-style program is focused on two lifts – the snatch and the clean and jerk. This program allows for a lot of variation in the number of sets and reps, so you can maintain your physical activity even when you get tired. If you have an injury or other physical limitation that limits you from adding some intensity to the program, this is probably the way to go.
- Basic Base: This is another good choice if you’re just starting and don’t have much experience with strength training. The most significant advantage of this program is the focus on basic compound exercises, which allow you to focus on your overall health as you learn about strength training.
- Traditional Base: This is an excellent option if you’re just starting and have never done strength training. The program focuses on three basic lifts – the snatch, the clean, and the power clean. It also allows for plenty of variation in exercises, sets, and reps, making it ideal for this stage in your fitness journey.
- Traditional Hypertrophy: This is an ideal program if you want to do some regular weightlifting that focuses on muscle hypertrophy or increased size.
4. Pick a Sustainable Training Volume
- Intermediate: This program focuses on two workouts per week, each of which includes four to five basic lifts. The number of sets and reps varies wildly, making it a great option to focus on strength without doing too much.
- Advanced: This intense program offers a wide range of exercises and plenty of variety in terms of sets and reps. The biggest strength of this program is the ability to do up to seven workouts per week if you feel comfortable with it. It’s also ideal for people to keep up their exercise level but don’t want to invest much time.
- Continuous: This program focuses on three workouts per week and allows for a lot of variety in terms of exercise. On top of that, you’ll have the opportunity to take additional days off if you choose.
- Complete: This is an excellent option if you have time and are willing to devote some work to strength training.
5. Get To Work
- Warm-up: A warm-up is essential for most strength training routines, as it prepares the body for the workout. That’s especially true if you’re doing a heavy workout that places a lot of stress on your joints.
- Workout: It’s crucial to get into the correct exercise position when doing any type of resistance training, so ensure you warm up your muscles well before starting.
- Cool Down: After each set, take some time to stretch and recover your muscles.
- Strength Training: Once adequately warmed up, you can begin with the exercise of your choice.
- Rest: After each set, rest and recover your muscles for a few minutes.
- Cool Down: Take time to stretch each muscle and prepare for the next set.
6. Find 1-2 tune up races.
You can find a lot of motivation for running at races and challenges. Always have a big race on your schedule to get you back running. Running 1-5 times a week is enough to keep your running habit alive, but it will not keep your running lean and muscular!
Running races are also good workouts. Participate in at least one 5k or 10k race every month. These fun events also serve as excellent workout days for time management and goal setting. You can also use the opportunity to do some tempos or intervals.
Start a challenge with a training partner or friend! Set up three challenges: long runs, speed work, and a race. When you set up your challenges, ask for help from friends, family, or neighbors so you have someone to report to weekly! These challenges create community and accountability, which are crucial for maintaining your running habit!
7. Keep Track of Your Training and Assess Your Progress
Most runners create a training journal to track their training. Keep track of your long runs, time, distance, calories burned, and fuel sources. You can also use different apps to chart your workouts. Run, walk or jog your long run at a steady pace. Then, you can use the pace and distance tracker to see how far you’ve gone or how quickly you covered that distance. You can also set your GPS to track speed and distance for your workouts.
Keeping track of your weight loss will help you assess whether your eating habits are in check.
8. Get A Massage[vc_video link=’https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hFcKvxyno3o’]
The body loves to be touched and massaged. Find a massage therapist or ask a friend or partner to give you a massage every week! The benefits of massage include improved circulation, faster healing times, and relief from headaches, back pain, and sore muscles.
If you don’t have a partner or friend, try to get at least one massage a month from your local gym. A massage therapist will help you transition and become your new running buddy!
9. Run on Monday and Wednesday
I have learned this from the experts over the years: If you can run every day, it will be easier to maintain your running habit. Run at least three times weekly, plus one extra-long run on Friday. If your schedule allows, you can set up a run every day (Sunday included) so that you’re only working out five days a week.
If you can’t run daily, try to get three weekly runs. If you come home and feel like an energy vampire or a sluggish zombie, take the time to stretch out your legs and relax before reaching that couch!
What Makes a Good Training Plan?
A good training plan is based on the following things:
- Training volume and frequency
- Recovery and rest days
- Nutrition and supplementation
- Strength training / Hypertrophy / Endurance / Power
The number of goals you want to reach will determine the number of exercises you should do weekly. For example, three exercises will be enough if you want to lose weight. Five exercises will be enough if you want to lose fat in your arms and legs.
- The training volume and frequency are the adaptation of the body. A good training plan will determine the number of exercises depending on your goals.
- Recovery days are essential to recuperate and give your body enough time to adapt to the stress you put on it during a workout.
- Nutrition is behind everything you do; it must be in check, or else you won’t succeed in your goals no matter how hard you train.
What is the best training schedule?
There is no “Best Training Schedule”. If you enjoy running, then run as much as you can! There is no need to run every day if you can’t. If you find yourself getting injured and needing a rest from time to time, it’s okay. Runners like Mo Farah and Paula Radcliffe took almost a year off from running (in the case of Farah) after the 2012 Olympics. If needed, you can take a week or two off between intense training cycles.
What’s the best workout split?
There are many different workouts splits that you can do in your training plan. It all depends on goals, age, and other health issues. You could have a 3-2-2 or 4-4-4 split, for example.
Is training six days a week too much?
For a beginner, training six days a week is excessive. Training 6 days a week is suitable for competition. Still, it isn’t recommended if, However, It is not recommended to exercise more than three to four times per week, including one to two sessions of strength training, if you’re trying to get in shape or lose weight.
Do I have to run for an hour or more at all?
You need to find what your body works best with. Go for a 30-minute run if that’s all the time you have! If you enjoy running for an hour or more, go right ahead! Even though it can take longer, it’s still your life. You must determine what suits you the best.
What are the five principles of exercise training?
- Frequency (Total Time)
- Aerobic Training
- Muscular Strength and Endurance Training (Stretching)
- Flexibility Training
Training is the central part of becoming a runner. There are many different types of training, each with specific goals and methods.