THE IMPORTANCE OF STRUCTURE WHEN PLANNING YOUR TRAINING
We all know that structure plays an important role when planning your exercise regime. This influences when you will do which exercises, how fluent your training session and training week goes, avoids frustration and enables you to track your progress. This will in turn have a massive impact on commitment and satisfaction. So how do you structure your training and what are the benefits of doing so?
Decide on your training goal - This is the first step that will influence every decision that follows. What are you looking to achieve, gain or lose? What are you training for? Endurance, power, general fitness or toning? This will all determine how you structure your sessions.
How often can/do you want to train? – Determining the amount of free time you have for training plays a pivotal role in your training structure. This will determine how many muscle groups you need to target on every training day and what your load, volume and intensity should be to reach your goals.
How long can you/do you want to train? – Deciding on session duration has the same importance as deciding on how frequently you want to train. This will also determine the amount of training that can be done and will help you realize what your goal requires. This enables you to adjust your allocated training duration and training frequency to suit your goal.
Do you have any training restrictions? – Things like old injuries or personal preferences prevent individuals from performing certain exercises or exercise styles. Make sure to avoid these exercises in your training plan.
Training intensity increase periods – It’s important to plan when you want to start increasing your training intensity. Most individuals increase their intensity between 3 – 6 weeks. Adaptation differs from person to person, so finding the right time for your intensity increase is crucial to reaching your goal and avoiding plateaus.
Planned rest - Sufficient rest and recovery is just as important as effective training. Your body needs time to recover from intense workouts and individuals can achieve greater results, minus the burn-out, when implementing enough rest periods in their training. Decide which 2 days of the week you want to take completely off from training. One of these 2 days can be utilized for very light activity to increase recovery (e.g. walking or easy paced cycling).
Plan your week in workouts – Decide which muscle groups you want to target on which days. Also decide on muscle group combinations that complement each other during training and make sure to group them together when working out your plan.
Training gear – What accessories do you need to comfortably perform your whole training plan? Ensure you have the right training shoes, gloves if needed, belts, straps, bottles and towels. This also differs from person to person, but having the right gear makes you feel more prepared mentally and make your training more comfortable.
Training support – Most individuals prefer taking supplements when committing to a structured training plan. This is because supplements support you in reaching your goal faster and easier. Supplements also support you with recovery and energy, two vital factors that make a huge difference in succeeding or failing. Figure out what your goal is and find the supplements you need to support your body. USN offers supplements by training goal. You can find your goal here by navigating to the “Your Goal” tab: https://usn.co.za/.
Training facility – Where do you need to go to be able to perform your training plan? Do you need a gym, a track, a field with steps and hills? Be sure to find a place that suits your needs.
Track your progress – Keep a basic progress sheet specific to your goal. This is important to see if you are moving in the right direction and to keep you motivated. It also reminds you that you are working towards something.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF STRUCTURING YOUR TRAINING?
Easier to control: Having structure will give you control over your workouts. This will in turn give you control over your body.
You are more likely to succeed: Structure is used to reach goals or to determine the right way to complete a certain process. Structuring your training will give you the tools to succeed, “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail”.
Results will be measurable: You will be able to see exactly what it takes to lose that x amount of centimeters or body fat. You will be able to reflect back on how far you have come and most importantly, you will be able to notice soon enough if your structure and training plan is not working.
Education: Through planning and engaging in your own workout plan, you will be exposed to new knowledge about training styles and techniques. The valuable knowledge gained during your planning sessions will help you understand your body better and help you understand how your training plan benefits you.
You will have more personal buy-in: Building your own training structure and training plan is an achievement, if it’s your first time or your 100th time. Feeling proud in what you have put together will give you the confidence to follow your own plan, because you have personally seen the information that it is based on.
USN offers a range of eating and training plans under the “Your Goals” tab. These are blueprints that you can use to create your own structure and training plan. Decide on your goal, research your exercises and build a custom program that you can boast to your friends about at your next social.
Find everything you need to know by visiting USN’s website.