If you want to seriously start a training program, if you want to see results, you need to plan ahead.
The first thing to do is to take a note pad and write down a few questions:
- What do I want to achieve?
- By when I want to achieve it?
- How many times a week can I train?
- For how long can I train each time?
The above are key questions for designing a program.
If you want to loose weight, you need to work in a different way than if you want to build muscles or if you want to run the marathon or if you want to carry the shopping bags without having to stop every few meters because they are too heavy.
Once you have decided what you want to achieve, you need to be more specific and quantify: loose 5 kg, reduce body fat by 3%, reduce the waist size by 4 cm, increase the chest size by 5 cm, run 5 km without running out of breath, lift 10 kg…
Then set yourself a time: loose 5 kg in 6 weeks. Of course you need to be realistic when setting the time. Loosing 5 kg in a week would be counterproductive and a risk for the health, you would not be able to achieve it and you would feel frustrated and go back to square one.
In setting your goal, you need to be SMART:
S = be Specific about what you want to achieve
M = your goal must be Measurable so that you can see your progress and results
A = the goal needs to be Achievable in a way that is safe and healthy
R = you must be Realistic, consider what you can do, the resources you have, potential barriers you may encounter
T = you need to set a Time by which you want to achieve your goal. Setting a time will give you something to look forward to, if you don’t, it will always be “tomorrow”.
Once you have all the above clear, you need to decide how many times a week you want to workout. This can be determined by your time availability or by what you want to achieve. There can be some controversy here: people who are really focused, will find the time, but also people who really don’t have the time, can achieve results if they make the most of the time they have.
There are numerous programs that can be designed taking into account all the different variables we have seen and I will write a separate article to give more details about what I think are the best programs to follow.