Ten rules for writing efficient training programs

Ten rules for writing efficient training programs

Here's what you need to know...
  • There are thousands of different training programs, however, the most effective ones are built on the same principles.
  • Check the following list and verify that your program is involved most of these principles.

There are many theories of composing a good training program, as well as applying these theories trainers. Meanwhile, for his 30 years of training experience I have found that all successful training protocols have some common points. In this regard, allow me to introduce to your attention 10 most important rules of writing effective training program.

1. The most important exercises should be performed in the first place

The more important the exercise, the earlier you need to perform in training. In addition, some believe that, in addition, it should be closer to the beginning of the training week. For bodybuilders with weak calf muscles this means that calves should be trained at the beginning of the session.

For a lifter with weak triceps, this could mean that priority should be given not to the standard presses lying, presses and lying triceps extensions. And for those who suffer from chronic orthopedic problems, it can be prejubilaciones specific or rehabilitation exercise. The practical application of this rule is almost limitless, but its essence is simple – what is the most important, you need to work first while your energy level on top.

Experienced athletes may notice that this principle is contrary to several other common practices, such as the following:
  • a. Speed exercises should be done before power.
  • b. Demanding from the point of view of the movement techniques you need to perform first.
  • c. First, try multistable exercises, and then otnositelnye.
Despite the validity of these three rules, in the event of a conflict, the most important principle is the distribution of priorities between weak sections.

2. Everything you do has a price, but not necessarily benefits

If you think that the results are exceptionally great difficulty, thus feasible in your understanding becomes practically any exercise or training method, and also begins to act the rule of "bigger is better". Meanwhile, this philosophy is erroneous and here's why.

Whenever you raise the fretboard, the only guarantee is that it certainly will have its price. While there are no guarantees that you will benefit. This price includes time, energy, risk of injury, and, probably most importantly, the time and energy that could be spent on other things such as family or career.

With this in mind, I recommend more focus on gross profit, and total profit, if to speak figuratively. That is, as they say, "no matter how much you earn matter how much you get". Choose the most favorable options. Look for ways of saving time and reduce his losses.

Personally, I think a lot about what I would cost in your 54 years can increase the weight in the dead rods from 230 to 250 pounds. I would really like to achieve this result, however, when I try to imagine how much time, effort and risk that would require that I stop. Perhaps my life would be better if instead I'd give priority to other tasks (either training or non-training). In this regard, I hope that you will also begin to analyze their own goals.

3. Contrast promotes recovery

The negative effects of fatigue specific to a particular type of physical activity that causes this fatigue. In this regard, ideally adjoining a training session should be different from each other as possible, given your training limitations. Thus fatigue after a workout on Monday will have the least possible negative impact on training effectiveness in the environment.

Also note what I said about training restrictions. The fact that this rule always has certain limitations. As an example, suppose you want to increase the muscles of the legs, therefore, decided to train them three times a week. Meanwhile, the rule that "contrast promotes recovery" tells us that these workouts should be as different from each other, in order to ensure maximum recovery from session to session. There are several different ways to achieve this. First of all, you need to vary the exercises and load parameters. Here is an example of how you can apply this in practice:
  • Monday
Squats with the neck on the shoulders 4x10
Lunges 3x10
The extensions of the legs 4?12
  • Wednesday
Deadlifts 6x2
Front squats 4x6
Romanian deadlifts 4x6
  • Friday
Lifts on bench 3x12
Leg curl 2x15
Pelvic lifts 4x10

In this example from session to session change substantially as the exercises and the load. Another option is alternating the emphasis between the knees/quads one workout and legs/muscle chain of the back surface of the next session.

4. The most effective exercises are also the most modifiable

A long time ago I found an interesting training point. I noticed that otnositelnye exercises have very little potential for modification, whereas multistable movements have a much higher adaptability. Take, for example, deadlifts. They can be performed by holding of the hands between the legs (in the style of sumo) or outside (in the traditional manner).

You can also perform them standing on the platform (which will increase range of motion) or, conversely, lower it on the rod (which will reduce the amplitude). In addition, deadlifts can be performed using elastic bands, chains, different bars on one foot, with straight legs. In short this list is virtually endless. The same applies to squats, lunges, vertical and horizontal presses and vertical and horizontal rods.

The ability to constantly modify the exercises increases their value, as it allows you to use a strategy called "the same, but different", which is to perform the same exercises week after week, month after month, without losing adaptive response due to variations, not allowing the body to get used to.

But otnositelnye though the exercises have their own value, still suffer from the disadvantage of the above characteristics. In this regard, effective programs are active using the compound (multistage) exercises and more than the occasional use of odnosemjannyj movements.

5. The most effective training programs help to maintain discipline

Sometimes training is certainly nice, however, we have to admit that it's mostly hard work. And intensive work always requires discipline – the ability to hold a goal, despite difficulties. So if you found an easier way to swallow these drugs, the better for you. Especially if you find a strategy with which workouts help you to maintain discipline, that is, instead of forcing yourself, the training itself draws you up, so that it becomes more regular and productive.

In addition to performing your favorite exercises, there are several small strategies that help to achieve this effect:

Find motivated, reliable and experienced training partner.

  • Participate in competitions.
  • Divide the exercises are mandatory and optional. In other words, make sure to perform all important, but about less important exercises can act upon the mood.

Find the best possible environment for training, that is, with the best equipment, best environment, with a minimum distance from home and so on.

  • Create conditions for progress by trying to beat your own records as often as possible. Setting new personal records makes the training more pleasant and productive.

6. Use the patterns in the training program

There are a number of fundamental movement patterns that need to regularly engage in the training. These include squats, lunges, bending at the waist, thrust and horizontal presses, vertical thrust and presses and bends and/or twists the torso.

The frequency with which these patterns should be utilized in the training, depends mainly on your goals, as well as on individual anthropometry (height, aspect ratio, presence of injuries, and so on). Bodybuilders as necessary to develop the balanced shape you need to work all the muscles and accordingly to use all the patterns.

The rest of practicing such a balanced approach to every part of the body may not be required. Moreover, specialization in a particular sport often requires a disproportionate development between different parts of the body. For example, cyclists remarkable development of the upper body can only reduce the effectiveness.

It is worth noting one small moment. Even if one or another pattern to load you are not going to maintain you still need to regularly perform it with full range of motion. For example, no matter for what reason, but you're not doing presses over a head, however, you must maintain the ability to raise the hands up to the full height without any restrictions.

7 . Avoid binary thinking

We too often characterize "good" or "bad", when in fact they are not so "black" or "white" as you think. We called squats and military presses are effective, but the extensions and leg presses in the simulator is useless.

Meanwhile, the most criticized of your exercises actually are not bad if used in adequate amounts and in the right conditions. Simulators, for example, useful in case of time constraints, injuries or lack of training skills, when experience is the ability to perform more complex exercises with free weights. Exactly the same is not prohibited, a small targeted training of the hands, if it does not interfere with work on other more important things. So you can relax slightly and trying to look at new exercises.

8. Think about results, not about the tools

If your goal is to gain five pounds of muscle then does it matter what you do: using barbell, weights, machines or body weight? This trap caught many, getting stuck on the tools and forgetting about the final goals.

For example, recently, despite my inveterate contempt for the simulators, I was persuaded to perform several extensi leg to strengthen the quadriceps in the hope to boost the efficiency of sit-UPS (personally I squats only work the adductor muscles of the thigh muscle and the rear surface). And you know what? It worked.

So do yourself a favor. Sit down and write down what specifically you hope to gain from training. To increase strength? To build muscles? To increase dexterity and mobility? To lose body fat? Improve athletic performance? Then examine the tools that you use, and those that will be ignored, regardless of the reason. And in the end try to improve the relationship between tools and results. You may be surprised by what happens in the end.

9. The Pareto Principal

I think many have heard about the 80/20 rule, however, to adequately assess or correctly apply failed. This principle is that 80% of our results are based on 20 percent of our actions. However, the question is, what are the 20% of activity or behavioural factors, and that this 80 percent, without which you can not do? And it concerns not only exercises, but also training frequency, number of sets in each movement and so on.

And to answer those questions only you can. My goal is only to push you to this. Imagine, if you can get at least 97 percent of what you get now, if you reduce the workload by 30 percent. Will this compromise effective?

10. Regularity over intensity

Probably the most important sign of a novice trainee is that their efforts, typically, are both bright and temporary. Each workout for them as a desperate battle, and their posts on social media, it sounds like they're soldiers fighting not only working with weights, but with his weak character.

Most newbies fail to understand that in contrast to the training session (which is just "experience") training is a process. And as in any process, the intensity is significant only for long term work. Looking at your own training log, I see that this year completed session 81, which is approximately four workouts per week. Not all of them, of course, were super intense, because it's just unreal. As my colleague Bret Contreras "out of every five sessions is a terrible one, three average and one outstanding." And while your regular training, it is absolutely normal.