Beginners Guide to Building a Training Plan (part 1)

When asked what is the best program for {insert fitness goal here}, my answer tends to be almost always the same:

3 x 52.

What I mean by that is something that you can follow consistently three times a week, 52 weeks of the year.

Someone following an average program consistently throughout the year will achieve better results than someone following the most scientifically advanced program 7 days a week for 6 weeks and then giving up because it’s just not sustainable.   Or alternatively having intermittent fitness ‘blitzes’ periodically throughout the year, and in between them just going back to life as normal.

January is a classic time for falling into that trap – with many gyms and studios marketing intensive courses of classes – and much of the mainstream and the fitness specific media pushing the idea of the January fitness craze.

My advice to anyone beginning a new health and fitness regime in January, is to take the time to put together a regime that they can realistically see themselves still doing in March, July and September too…

When designing a program for my clients I am sure to consider all five measurable ‘pillars’ of wellness:


  • Muscular Strength


  • Mobility & Motor Control


  • Aerobic capacity


  • Body Composition


  • Emotional wellbeing


The good news is that there is one activity that we can do that has an immediate benefit to all five – structured strength training.

Structure strength training should be the foundation of all wellness regimes


Strength training, or training against resistance is the one form of exercise that has a measurable impact on all five aspects of health and fitness, and so should be the cornerstone to all of our fitness programs


Of course we know that strength training helps us get stronger.  But building core strength and stability is actually the key to improving our mobility too!


All forms of aerobic (or cardiovascular) training  – whether it’s going for a run or taking part in a HIIT class – essentially involve multiple repetitions of the same action over and over again.  Strength training is key to your body having the resilience to do this without damaging itself.


Improving body composition is really a case of decreasing the amount of body fat relative to muscle mass. As we know, reducing body fat requires being in a calorie deficit, however, strength training (along with adequate protein intake) is essential for preserving the lean tissue whilst the body fat is reducing.


Strength training allows us to set, and then achieve, tangible goals: (think completing your first pull-up, achieving a new personal best on the bench press).  Research tells us that achieving measurable and tangible goals builds buy in, and increases feelings of contentment.  Which of course helps to improve consistency…  and as we know consistency trumps intensity every time!

2020-12-26T14:04:09+00:00December 16th, 2020|5 Comments


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