Having clarity around your goals is the first step to changing your health and fitness. We all want to achieve different things – some of us might be training to lose weight, others might be training for a particular event or sport or wanting to be stronger to lift their kids or build strength to reduce back pain.
Once you’re clear on your goal then you start getting clarity on what types of exercise are going to be the best fit. Overall, the best approach is a balanced one, but you may want to skew towards a particular category of exercise to help you achieve your targets.
Most commonly, people are either training to get lean, get strong or get endurance – or some combination of those – and fundamentally, the way you train for each of those end-goals will be very different, even though there is some degree of overlap.
1. Get lean
Getting lean is all about ramping up the training to strip the fat. Cardio doesn’t have to be just running – there’s plenty you can do to get your heart rate up and keep it interesting. Ensure you balance the application between high intensity interval sessions and moderate duration sessions such as circuits.
Exercises you can do: Kettlebell swings, burpees, rowing, air dyne, dumbbell squat and presses, box jumps, slam balls.
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2. Get strong
These types of workouts are all about helping build power, strength and stamina. To build strength, don’t go too hard to fast, it takes time and patience. You’re best to start with your own bodyweight and then move on to resistance training. Then if you want to take it up a level and start incorporating weights, go for it. It’s important to learn correct form, technique and ranges of movement to reap the benefits of your efforts and to minimise the risk of injury.
Exercises you can do: planks, push-ups, pull-ups, squats, lunges, deadlifts and presses.
3. Get endurance
Endurance training is designed to increase cardio fitness and muscle endurance. It’s ideal here to do activities that are cardio-based and strength exercises that challenge your balance, accuracy and coordination to offset the repetitive nature of endurance training. Training for endurance requires us to go long, so sessions that are a minimum of 30 minutes of continuous exercises at a low to moderate heart rate.
Another point I feel important to stress, is even with the best intentions and desire to achieve our goals it can be difficult when trying to do it on your own, that’s where group personal training comes in handy. You get the support, knowledge and an atmosphere that encourages you to give your best and remain committed to the process and your goals.
Finally, it’s important to remember no matter how good a program, it all comes down to your commitment and awareness in everything you do and I mean, everything. Having the support and experience of others in your corner will always help you to dig deeper and find within yourself things you never thought possible.
Image: Personal trainer academy.