By Jonathan Davenport, CSCS, TSAC-F, CCC, CPT
An introduction to getting started with training and guidance to achieve long-lasting results.
Starting to train can be both exciting and intimidating at the same time. It is easy to feel overwhelmed when there are so many different types of exercises, workout plans, and equipment available. Often, people may not know where to start or what to do, whether you are a performance based athlete or someone just getting started on your fitness journey. The fear of not doing things right or getting injured can also be a barrier to starting. However, it is essential to remember that everyone has to start somewhere, and taking the first step towards a healthier lifestyle is commendable. It’s okay to start small and build up gradually over time, focusing on achievable goals and progress rather than perfection. Seeking guidance from a personal trainer or a trusted fitness professional can also help in finding a starting point and building a safe and effective exercise routine.
The Difference between Exercising and Training
In order to prepare someone for their training, we need to properly distinguish the difference between exercise and training. Although exercise and training are often used interchangeably, they have different meanings. Exercise refers to any physical activity that involves movement of the body, such as walking, cycling, or swimming. It is done for the purpose of improving overall health, fitness, and well-being. On the other hand, training is a more structured and specific form of exercise that is done with a particular goal in mind, such as improving strength, endurance, or speed. Training involves following a plan or program that is tailored to individual needs and goals. It usually requires a higher level of intensity, frequency, and duration than regular exercise. Training is done to achieve specific results, such as building lean-muscle mass, weight loss, improving performance in a sport, or preparing for a competition. While exercise is beneficial for general health and fitness, training is more focused and goal-oriented. Exercise is a great thing; however, random exercise will equate to random results.
I love to tell my clients about Yuri Verkoshansky. Verkoshanksy was a prominent Russian sports scientist and coach who is widely regarded as one of the founders of modern sports training. Verkoshansky believed that effective training was not just about making an athlete tired but rather improving specific aspects of their performance. He famously said, “Any idiot can make another idiot tired,” to emphasize that simply exhausting an athlete with high-intensity workouts or long hours of training would not necessarily lead to improvement. Verkoshansky emphasized the importance of a scientific and structured approach to training, using methods such as periodization, plyometrics, and complex training to improve strength, speed, and power. His innovative ideas and contributions to the field of sports training have had a profound impact on coaches, athletes, and scientists worldwide.
Steps to Ensure Results:
- Choose a Method
- Progressive Overload
- Execute, Monitor & Adjust
- Have Fun Seeing the Results
Setting goals before starting a training plan is crucial for several reasons. First, having a clear set of goals helps to provide direction and focus to your training. Without goals, it is easy to become disheartened or lose motivation when progress is slow or when facing obstacles. Goals help to provide a roadmap for your training, breaking down a long-term vision into smaller, achievable steps.
Secondly, having both short-term and long-term goals ensures that you are continuously motivated and making progress. Short-term goals, which can be achieved in weeks or months, provide feedback that will help keep you intrinsically motivated. Long-term goals, which may take months or years to achieve, give you a broader perspective and help to ensure that your training is aligned with your overall vision and purpose. Without goals, you will not have any purpose for your training and inevitably will quit. That is why we hold to the motto, “Train with Purpose”. Learn more about SOVRN Coaching here.
Testing is crucial at the beginning of every training program for several reasons. Firstly, it provides a baseline measurement of your current fitness level, which can be used to design a personalized and effective training program. Without testing, it is difficult to know where to start and how to progress your training in a safe and effective manner.
Secondly, testing allows you to identify any imbalances, weaknesses, or limitations in your movement patterns, which can lead to injury or prevent you from achieving your goals. Identifying these issues early on allows you to address them with targeted exercises and corrective strategies, reducing the risk of injury and optimizing your performance.
Thirdly, testing allows you to track progress and measure the effectiveness of your training program. By retesting regularly, you can see how your fitness level has improved and make adjustments to your training program if necessary. This helps to ensure that you are making progress towards your goals and that your training program is effective.
Once you have set goals and performed baseline testing, the next step is to choose the appropriate training methods to help you reach your goals. There are numerous training methods available, and selecting the right ones can be challenging. It is essential to consider your individual needs, fitness level, and training goals when selecting training methods. Some examples of training methods include resistance training, cardiovascular training, interval training, plyometrics, and mobility training. Resistance training involves using weights or resistance bands to build muscle strength and improve overall fitness. Cardiovascular training includes activities such as running, cycling, or swimming to improve cardiovascular endurance. Interval training involves alternating periods of high-intensity exercise with periods of rest or low-intensity exercise. Plyometrics involves explosive movements such as jumping or bounding to improve power and speed. Flexibility training aims to improve range of motion and prevent injury, while mobility training focuses on improving joint mobility and function. Ultimately, selecting the right training methods will depend on your specific goals, needs, and preferences, and working with a qualified fitness professional can help ensure that your training plan is safe, effective, and tailored to your individual needs.
4. Progressive Overload
After selecting the appropriate training methods, the next step is to apply the principle of progressive overload to achieve your training goals. Progressive overload involves gradually increasing the volume and/or intensity of your training over time to produce positive adaptations in the body, such as increased muscle mass, strength, and endurance. Without progressive overload, the body quickly adapts to a specific training stimulus, leading to plateaus and diminishing returns.
Properly utilizing progressive overload is essential for achieving your goals and avoiding injury. Gradually increasing the volume and/or intensity of your training will help to prevent overtraining and reduce the risk of injury. It also ensures that your training sessions remain challenging and effective.
Varying the volume and intensity of your training is a key component of progressive overload. Modifying volume is one form and can involve adding more sets, reps, or varying the types exercises. An example of modifying intensity, could be lifting heavier weights, reducing rest periods, or increasing the speed of your movements (Rate of Force Development).
5. Execute, Monitor & Adjust
Executing a training plan is essential for achieving the desired results. To ensure success, it is important to follow the plan consistently, make adjustments as needed, and monitor progress regularly. Here are some key elements to consider when executing a training plan:
- Consistency: Consistency is crucial when it comes to training. You need to be committed to your training plan and make it a priority. Set a schedule and stick to it, even if you don’t feel like working out on a particular day.
- Adjustments: It is important to be flexible and make adjustments to your training plan as needed. If you are not seeing the desired results, you may need to increase the intensity or volume of your workouts, or change the exercises you are doing. On the other hand, if you are feeling fatigued or experiencing pain, you may need to decrease the intensity or rest.
- Monitoring progress: Regularly monitoring your progress is essential to ensure that you are on track to achieving your goals. This can be done through tracking your workouts, measuring your body composition, or performing periodic testing to assess your fitness level. Use this information to adjust your training plan and make sure that you are continuing to make progress.
- Accountability: Having someone to hold you accountable can be very helpful when it comes to executing a training plan. This could be a coach, a training partner, or simply someone who is supportive of your goals. Share your progress with them and seek their input and feedback.
6. Have Fun & Enjoy the Results of Your Hard Work!
In conclusion, tarting to train can be both exciting and intimidating at the same time. It is easy to feel overwhelmed by the seeming complexities of training; however, if you use this 6-step process, then you will see results.
Looking for more accountability and/or a professional to help you with your goals? Then, book a consultation with SOVRN today and start the hardest part…Starting