Whether you’re completely new to exercising or you already have an established fitness base, you may be wondering how your exercise program should evolve over time. Each personal training client is different, so we can’t provide detailed insights as to the trajectory your program will take. Still, we can give you a general overview of how training programs are structured, why it’s important to change them, and how they can be refined as your experience grows. Here’s everything you need to know about long-term personal training.
How Do You Structure a Personal Training Program?
There’s no one-size-fits-all training program that will work for every client. In fact, creating individualized training programs based on clients’ unique needs is a specialty skill that separates the best personal trainers from the rest. Developing an effective program that strategically utilizes your efforts to reap the maximum benefits is a precise science.
To structure your program, trainers will account for factors such as your goals and existing fitness levels. Then, they’ll choose a set of exercises which may consist of lifting weights or using other equipment, performing bodyweight exercises, doing some form of cardio, or a combination of all of these different types of training, going back to the initial goals that were set. They’ll also sequence these exercises in the proper order and select an appropriate number of sets and reps. For instance, someone who’s lifting heavier weights may have fewer reps, but a client who’s lifting lighter may do higher reps. This formula is repeated week by week to cultivate a comprehensive, results-driven exercise program just for you.
Why Is It Important to Adjust Your Exercise Program?
There are several important reasons to adjust your fitness program. For one, doing the same moves over and over again could put you at risk for an overuse injury. For another, you need to create variation in your routine to create a new stimulus. Over time, your body gets used to performing certain moves. The lack of challenge can cause your progress to stagnate. Switching things up helps to prevent you from reaching a plateau.
Finally, there are mental benefits of changing up your exercise program. It prevents boredom, which increases adherence to fitness programs. New routines engage the mind, making your sessions both a physical and a mental workout. Finally, mastering new goals can be a major confidence booster.
How Can I Improve My Personal Fitness Program?
As with personal training itself, there’s no single right answer on how to improve your fitness program. In fact, if you’re working with the right trainer, they should do it for you. An attentive trainer will be able to tell when exercises are becoming easier for you, at which point it makes sense to introduce a new challenge. That may come in the form of doing higher reps, lifting heavier, or adding intensity by advancing moves as you get stronger. For example, if you started out doing pushups from your knees, with the right amount of upper body strengthening, you’ll eventually progress to doing them with your knees lifted.
Of course, it’s also possible that it may be time for new exercises entirely. In such cases, a personal trainer is still your best resource for a program that’s fresh and challenging to keep you motivated and engaged. And if something ever feels like it needs to be tweaked, don’t hesitate to speak up. Your trainer wants to help you succeed, and if there’s an element of your program that isn’t working for you, they’ll do what they can to modify it appropriately.
The first step in progressing your personal training program is getting started.