There is an ocean full of training programs packaged with sexy stock photos and SEO popular titles. To choose and commit to a program, we need to understand its purpose, through specific design, methods, duration and target group.
With so many available choices that are significantly different from each other, how do we select the right one?
1. Set Measurable Goals for Yourself
Before you begin trampoline jumping from one training program to the next, ask yourself, what exactly are you trying to achieve? The first answer can be vague like “I want to get in shape” to specifically “increase my front squat by 50 lbs (22.5 kg)”. The act of working towards the front squat goal requires, strength training and compounds lifts. This is an excellent way to get in shape—develop a stronger, leaner, faster body.
Vague goals need to be developed a bit more and sharpened towards something specific. Associating numbers with goals is a great way to bench mark your projected path towards stronger leaner faster self. These numbers depend on what you are trying to achieve. The goal of completing your first marathon will engage significantly different training schedule, than losing fat and building lean mass. So, if you never thought about these things, take some time, open up your training log book and write down some ideas, goals, and how would you translate them into bench mark numbers.
2. Ask these Questions of the Training Program
There are exercise programs, in the thousands, available at a click of a few buttons. Many of them come packed with much terminology, training research and methods. Some are geared towards performance increases of strength, speed and endurance. Others focus around the “burn” promising lean muscular body with low fat reserves of a physique model. While others show you how to become a better runner, swimmer and/or cyclist. The choices are endless.
3. Your Program Selection Considerations
Depending on your goals, choosing an appropriate programs may be difficult at first but, becomes easier with practice. The exercises within should not only address what you wish to accomplish, but also reflect your training ability. Many believe, that by taking a strength and conditioning program of a professional athlete (e.g.: NFL linebacker or tight end) will generate maximal physical results. This is simply not the case. Most professional athletes have been training for decades in a strict and structured schedule, steadily developing their world class skills that we see on TV. By you grabbing a small piece of that very large and complex training structure, will not translate into the same championship glory. The sound advice is to stay in your own lane, evaluate personal potential and select training methods that develop “your” desired skills and functions.