Stop ‘winging’ your training

Having a background in strength training and strength sports (such as powerlifting and strongman), I often work with athletes involved in both. I also work with normal, every day people who use strength training to improve their health and wellbeing.

There is often a key difference between the two groups. The powerlifters/strongmen/Crossfitters all have a training program/plan that they follow. These programs will tell them what exercises and poundages to do on a given day, as well as tell them how many days per week to train.

(Everyone in this photo follows a training plan)

The every day people group is usually ‘winging it’. Each day/week of training is different. What’s more, the idea of following a program is quite often immediately met with resistance. I’m not sure why this is, but I’ll tell you why it’s holding you back.

There is nothing new about strength training, dieting or losing weight. It’s all been done before. The basic, boring stuff that works (and has worked forever) hasn’t changed, it never will.

So why should you follow a tried and true program? Precisely because it’s tried and true. If you’re starting out in the gym, or you’ve tried things before without success then you quite simply don’t know what you’re doing.This isn’t a terrible mark against you, your heart is in the right place, but you need direction. A program that has been around since almost the dawn of time will have plenty of feedback and ‘reviews’, success stories etc.

Following a program will allow you to evaluate what works and why, help you refine your bullshit meter, and help prevent you from injuring yourself and ending up at the physio. I usually recommend beginners run a program twice before changing anything, and only make small changes (one or two at a time) so you can evaluate their effect.

Some beginner/intermediate strength training programs include:

I’m always happy to talk training, so if you need a hand with technique or setting things up come see me at Inspired Physiotherapy and we’ll get you up and lifting!