Thursday, 10 November 2016

Training efficiency. How to train for results

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You ever see that guy in the gym doing the same exercise  program ever day? Same one in January as in July. Same weights, same reps and same pace.
That same guy along with a lot of fitness enthusiasts are wondering why there bodies aren't changing and they aren't getting closer to their goals.

The problem is there are a lot of gym goers that are just going through the motions.

They show up to the gym after work. They go through their basic workout,barely breaking a sweat. That's fine if physical activity is the goal. But if your goals are something specific such as performance or muscle, then that won't work.
So how should a person train if they are serious about their goals? The answer is progressive overload.

The exercise science principle of overload states that a greater than normal stress or load on the body is required for training adaptation to take place. What this means is that in order to improve our fitness, strength or endurance, we need to increase the workload accordingly.

In order for a muscle (including the heart) to increase strength, it must be gradually stressed by working against a load greater than it is accustomed to. To increase endurance, muscles must work for a longer period of time than they are accustomed to or at a higher intensity level. This could mean lifting more weight or doing high intensity interval training workouts.

The old saying is that "if it doesn't challenge you, it won't change you." That holds so much truth. This can be the reason you can see someone that trains so much not be in nearly as good of shape as they should be. How is it possible for a marathon runner to be overweight? One finds their comfort zone for a pace and that's how fast they run. They don't change their nutrition or and the don't change their intensity.

So the bigger question is how do we progress? Well we challenge ourselves. When we are lifting in a rep range we make sure we can't do more repetitions than we are aiming for. When we are running we make sure we are increasing our pace, decreasing our time. Or increasing the intensity by doing hills and such.

The moral of my story or blog is that in order to change your strength, body composition or performance. One is going to need to employ the principals of progressive overload. Making your workouts more efficient will both save you time and get you the results you are training for.

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

What is and why do I need to periodize my workout routine?


I want to talk a little about periodization in your exercise plan or workouts
Periodization is the systematic planning of athletic or physical training.  It involves progressive cycling of various aspects of a training program during a specific period.
Now that was the dictionary  definition of periodization. Explained in easier terms periodization is the change in things such as the amount of resistance used
time, type, sets , reps and rest in your workout plan
Periodization is a form of training that may be defined as strategic implementation of specific training phases. These training phases are based upon increasing and decreasing both volume (which is reps times sets) and intensity (which is the load or percentage of 1RM) when designing a training program.
Why is this important in an exercise program?
 Studies have shown the superiority of periodized over non-periodized programs in terms of greater changes in strength, body composition, and motor performance.
Periodized training plans help you burst through fitness plateaus. By "changing" things up in what's known as a cycle you never have the chance to get used to you workouts.
The human body is a wonderful thing. It adapts to the stress we put on it. Adaption is getting better or performing better at an activity or exercise. By periodizing our workout we allow the body to adapt build muscle or better our cardiovascular or get stronger. Then we periodize by changing the stress we put on it. Once again forcing adaption. 
Consistently repeating the same workout can lead to overuse injuries. Plus, without adequate recovery you put yourself at risk of overtraining. Athletes often recover by taking an off-season. For the average gym member or runner, an off-season might mean a month to low impact activities.
A "cycle" of training can be different for each person. Depending on things such as goals or physical factors one may have a different start or finish than another.
A cycle typically progresses in difficulty. This can be through any one or more of the factors and principles of periodization. Once one achieves or reaches the end of the cycle or the hardest point they can start back at the beginning.
This allows them a little rest from the hardships of an all out intense program. This time when they cycle back through there program they are stronger, faster and able to work even harder.
So in my opinion as a trainer one should always set and monitor goals. And follow a periodized exercise program in order to achieve those goal.
Thanks for reading and remember if you want to be fit, fight for it.