There’s a vast amount of training methods out there and we all have the ability to find out whatever information we want on the internet. 90% of gyms will have a knowledgeable instructor or trainer on site to give you advice, and yet I still see a majority of people jogging or powerwalking on treadmills for 30 to 40 minutes! Why? Unless you are a body builder (even then there may be better methods of burning fat and maintaining muscle) or planning on doing a half marathon or triathlon, why do you need to jog for that long?
My point is that everyone should be training to suit their lifestyle. If you want to improve your fitness to be able to keep up with your kids, then your training should match that need. If you have a career in the fire service and want to be able to easily meet the physical demands of that job, then your training should match that need. Not everyone needs to do an hour in the gym and not everyone needs to do the generic workouts that we all see day to day. Tabata, for example, is 4 minutes of exercise and has been proven to target both aerobic and anaerobic fitness and give you a fast and effective workout.
Below are the key principles and rules I try to stick to, to ensure my clients and my own training is the best it can be. Follow these and I guarantee you’ll stay motivated and see results:
The FITT Principle – Frequency, intensity, time and type. Plan how many days a week you can train, how hard the workouts are, how long each workout is going to be and the type of training you need to be doing.
Functional training – The exercises should mimic and/or improve your day to day movements. Squats, for example, help strengthen all of your leg muscles and mimic the movement you perform when standing up and sitting down.
Mix up your training – Combine HIIT training with Olympic lifts, or perform a circuit, which consists of calisthenics and plyometrics, or even go kayaking with some friends. Doing the same routine everyday will bore you and ultimately will decrease your motivation. Your body responds best to change.
Keep your workouts fun – Play sports or find something that you enjoy and incorporate that into your training.
Recovery is crucial – There is no such thing as over training, but there is such a thing as under recovering. Recovery phases allow your muscles to repair, heal and grow.
Listen to your body – Your body will always tell you what it is capable of and whether to hold back or push harder.
Jordan is a Personal Trainer at Brooke Weston Fitness. Free 30 minute taster Personal Training sessions are available on request.