Any time we make big changes in our lives, it’s natural to be a little bit nervous. Starting a new training programme isn’t quite as dramatic as buying your first house, getting married or having your first baby. But for some people, it can be just as confusing. So today we’ll look at What to Expect When You’re Expecting To Train Regularly!
I’ll start by stating that there are many different training programmes and nutrition plans that will achieve excellent results. As long as you or your trainer stick to the general principles outlined below, the specific methods won’t matter too much. As I’ve mentioned previously, training for fat loss, muscle gain or improved fitness is not rocket science. But it does require effort, consistency and a certain degree of willpower.
The following items are based on what I believe are Best Practice for achieving Health & Fitness goals. They are what my clients can expect when they start a new training programme. If you train alone or with friends, feel free to adapt the methods to suit. The first 3 items constitute the planning stage and are agreed at the initial consultation
Decide your goals.
Without an inspiring goal to motivate you, training can become boring and pointless. It works best if the goal is Specific, Measurable, Action-based, Realistic and Time-based. Avoid saying you want to get “fitter”, “tone-up” or “lose weight”. These terms are too vague. Picking a specific weight, clothes size or body fat % and declaring when you will achieve it is much more inspiring.
Make the target tough enough that you’ll have to work to achieve it but realistic enough to be achieved. This technique also applies to improving sports performance or strength levels.
Record your starting point.
In order to make your goal realistic, it is best to assess where you currently are in relation to it. If body composition is your target, have your current body fat % measured. You can also take waist/hip/thigh measurements or even record your scale weight. If improved performance is your goal, then what is your current best effort at that sport or activity?
Put A Plan In Place.
You now know where you are and you’ve decided where you want to go. All that remains is putting a plan in place that will help you complete your journey. This plan can be like a contract that you make with yourself.
Decide on how many training sessions per week you can do, how long each one will last and what type of activity will be involved. You can also decide what type of food you will eat to support this training, as well as what food and drink will need to be removed.
Once the initial planning phase is complete, it’s time to put it into action. Here’s what you can expect to do on a weekly basis:
Train at an intensity that challenges you.
This is relative to your current strength and fitness level. Total beginners or anybody who has an illness or injury is advised to get clearance from their doctor. Getting uncomfortable while training will cause changes in your body that will make you leaner, stronger and fitter.
As you get stronger, the training will start to feel easier and when that happens, it’s time to increase the intensity again!
Adjust your eating based on your goal.
As a general rule, if you want to lose weight you’ll need to eat less food. Individuals looking to increase muscle mass may need to take in more calories, especially in the form of protein and carbohydrates.
In order to see the results of your hard training, you will need to give yourself time to rest and recover. Sleep is the best and most under-rated form of recovery. Aim for 7-9 hours sleep per night, ideally between the hours of 10pm and 7am. Remember that you cannot train at your best if your body hasn’t recovered from the previous session.
There is no great mystery about improving body shape or fitness. All that it requires is a bit of structure and discipline. Put these steps into each of your training programmes and expect great results!