When creating or starting a new training plan, some of your first considerations might include, training split, exercise selection, reps and sets etc. However, there is one mistake that many people make when writing a new plan. In this blog I am going to explain what it is and why you should ensure you don’t make it.
For me, training in the gym gives me many things; motivation for my work, the opportunity to de-stress, the chance to improve my physique and increase my strength… But perhaps the overriding element is enjoyment.
In my eyes, training should always be enjoyable, but for some, this can be neglected when writing a training plan.
Our spare time is valuable, and to give up a lot of this time to training is a big commitment. So why wouldn’t you want to enjoy it?! Or at least enjoy the results or feelings it gives you. For the majority of us, training is usually a hobby and vehicle in which to work towards our goals. It’s not our job to be there. Ultimately, the buck finishes with us if we don’t turn up. I understand that not everybody shares my feelings about training. For those with the sole intention of losing weight or getting healthier, training might be something they feel they simply need to check off rather than something they want to do.
However, I firmly believe everyone can enjoy their training. So here are a few things you might like to take into account when writing your next plan…
To make your training successful, ensuring that your plan is both progressive and realistic are two vital components. However, when selecting exercises or your split, remember that really there is no perfect exercise, or a go-to split.
Arguably, an upper-lower split might be slightly better than push-pull-legs (PPL), however if you really enjoy PPL, the chances are you will get to the gym much more frequently and work harder whilst there.
If you really don’t enjoy or can’t get on with back squats, don’t feel that you have to program them. Hack squats for example, are a pretty decent alternative. Once again you will most likely push yourself harder with more load and better form with a hack squat rather than persisting with back squat and not getting anywhere.
Remember that your plan should include a good range of push, pull, squat, lunge and hinge movements, alongside your isolation exercises. Then within these movements, you can pretty much select whichever exercises you like.
Studies show there is no best one rep range, meaning you needn’t feel pressured into doing 3×10 on every exercise. If, like me, you enjoy a variety of rep ranges, do it! This will not only keep your session fresh and enjoyable, but it’s also well supported in research. Win win.
Equally, if you do love 3×10 on everything – that’s great! You’ll still make great progress.
We know that supersets aren’t any better than single sets but if you enjoy the intensity or the pump you get from supersets then great, crack on with them.
…hopefully you can see where I am going with this?
Whilst I am definitely an advocate of ensuring enjoyment is taken into account, there will still be things that maybe aren’t as enjoyable. Not many clients smile when they see Bulgarian Split Squats in their training plan. However, unless they really can’t get on with this exercise or it causes issues, more often than not, they understand why they are a great exercise.
All of our TEAM BOX Coaches do their best to take clients’ preferences into account when writing their training plans. Choice of exercise, rep ranges, sets, split and frequency preference are all assessed to ensure our plans are bespoke to our individual clients and help them both enjoy and get the most out of their training.
And guess what happens?
They love their sessions and see massive progress. It’s always an enjoyable but not altogether surprising email when a new client says how they love their new plan. 12 weeks later they are in better shape, stronger, are lifting with better form and have increased their volumes across the board.
So, what are the take homes from this blog?
- Choose a split that fits your lifestyle and one you enjoy (pending you can train body parts more than once a week)
- Select exercises you enjoy and can push yourself hard on whilst still including those movements that should be there.
- Don’t feel pressured into certain rep ranges.
- Add in supersets, drop sets or cluster sets if you enjoy them and they help you train with good intensity.
- Your plan should make you feel excited and motivated to train.
Hopefully this blog has given you some more ideas for your next training program. If you have any questions comment below.
If you want some more help with your training and want to take it to the next level check out our training plans in the shop. Or enquire for 1-2-1 coaching where you can get a FREE phone consult call with one of the six coaches to discuss your training goals.
Bottoms up to enjoyable and successful training!!!