March 7, 2013
Most people are confused as to how to design their own fitness program. You want to design a training program based on your specific fitness goals.
The program must cover a variety of parameters such as:
Desired outcome: What do you want to see happen in X amount of time?
Exercise duration: How long are you training? this again will vary on your goals. Ideally for the average person you want to keep your session under 60 minutes.
# of days of training per week: This will vary depending on your current level of experience, ability to adequately recover and fitness related goals.
What time are you training? am or pm: Train according to your body and when you have the most energy. If you’re not a morning person I don’t recommend trying to force yourself to become one. You want to train for longevity so set yourself up for success.
Muscle group training combos…push/pull/lower body, etc: You can group this by movement patters, push/pull combo… which is, chest/triceps/shoulders or a pull combo which is, back/biceps and then legs on another day. You could also opt to train your entire body in a circuit.
Muscle group priority: I recommend training larger muscle groups first then move on to smaller muscle groups. You can change this up if you have a lagging body part.
What equipment will be utilized? free weights, body weight, resistance tubing, etc: for muscle hypertrophy I would suggest sticking with free weights and machines.
What exercises will be performed?: will you be performing multijoint or isolation exercises?
Tempo or movement speed: are you performing the exercises in a slow, medium, fast or explosive manner? again the tempo you choose will vary with your training goals.
Rest period between sets: are you resting for 45 seconds, 90 seconds or longer? how much ATP/PC is replenished depends on how long you rest. Normally 60 seconds is adequate although you may take longer depending on your goals.
These are some of the things you want to keep in mind when designing your own fitness program. Don’t just pull a routine out of a magazine or off the internet. Take some time, sit down and hammer out a program that will yield the best results for YOU.