There are plenty of training protocols out there, it’s important to find the best one for you. Often it takes time and practice to find a regime that works well for you. Some people like militant routine and not having to think about what they do and what they eat; while others prefer more flexibility and creativity.
But no worries, the fact is the secret formula is out there! It simply entails placing your personal twist on a structured program. It means that you will have to put some thought into your workout program. It won’t work seamlessly if your trainer just hands it to you or you rip it off a Men’s Health magazine article. You have to spend time getting to know yourself; This entails really getting to grips with your own psychology and body rhythms. Ask yourself the following:
Do you know what fuel your body needs?
When you are hungry, are you thirsty? This can often be a confusing signal and what is perceived to be a hunger pang can disappear with a glass of water.
What about whether you need a protein-filled meal or a starchy one? Your body is a complex and clever machine capable of converting one to the other. However, why not remove that unnecessary time and wasteful energy expense and instead fuel the body with exactly what it needs and when. By spending a little time understanding what fuel does what and then learning how correct fueling should feel you will be able to provide your body with gold standard fuel 100% of the time and so expect a gold standard service from it 100% of the time!
Do you know when to push it?
A lot of people think you need to ignore that inner voice that says “naw…not today I can’t face the gym” and a lot of people think you need to listen to that voice. The truth of the matter is that both groups are right. As a Brighton personal trainer, I often advise my clients to take a break and rest their body after a rigorous routine because it is more beneficial than pushing it through a grueling workout. Yet other times making that gym visit can produce some of the best sessions you ever had! The trick is to know what your body is actually saying to you and this can only be learned through trial and error. A useful tool is to log emotional feeling and energy levels along with your food diary and your exercise diary so that you can learn what mood produces what results.
Do you know what a balanced program looks like?
However you ended up with your personal training plan and whoever you are, you need to make sure your workout program is balanced. You need to ensure you work all muscles equally and that you don’t generate chains of tightness through repetitive use that over time pulls your skeletal alignment out of whack.
- Consider traction as an alternative or addition to compression in muscle building plans.
- Consider joint mobility and muscle flexibility as imperative on any plan.
- Consider high intensity short burst training protocols as the basis for a metabolic conditioning or general fitness regime.
- Learn about muscle fascia and understand how tightness’s relate to your aches and pains, and do something about it like foam roller work, trigger point therapy or deep tissue massage.
- Understand your injuries, and when to rest, when to ice, when to mobilize and when to rehabilitate.
About the Author: Kirstin Ahmed is a personal trainer in Brighton, with a passion for health and fitness.
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