The good ol' Aussie Summer is only 8 days away, and for many of us, that means now more than ever we are determined to create a stronger, fitter, and faster version of ourselves.
However, with the holiday season among us, we are also bombarded with an influx of social events, Christmas dinners, and family vacations, leaving us not a lot of time to work on our health and fitness goals.
One of the easiest and most efficient ways to manage our time, and to ensure we never miss another leg day is to have an exercise program.
A training program will not only schedule your workouts, but it will also detail every part of your exercise regime, from the muscle group your training to the number of sets you're performing, right down to your rep tempo and rest periods.
An exercise plan will provide structure, help you adhere to your goals, and make it much, much easier to track and monitor your progress.
THE BENEFITS OF HAVING AN EXERCISE PROGRAM
1. YOUR WORKOUTS ALIGN WITH YOUR GOALS
We all start our fitness journey with some sort of goal in mind. To lose weight, get stronger, improve our sports performance. But how many of us are effectively training for that goal?
Having an exercise program ensures that your workouts are being tailored towards your individual goals, helping you achieve your desired results as quickly and efficiently as possible.
To help explain this in a little more depth, let's take the example of someone who is on a mission to knock 3 minutes off their 5km running time.
They sign up to the gym so they can jump on the tready 5 days a week and do the same 5km run.
Eventually old mate would see improvements to their speed, however, did this 'plan' of attack also help them improve their running style? Did their new speed come at the expense of their strength? Did they suffer any setbacks due to overuse injuries?
Perhaps it may be more efficient for them to incorporate some strength training and running conditioning into their exercise plan. This would have helped them improve their running technique, minimise their risk of injury, and ensure no strength-gains were lost in the process, whilst also helping them achieve their desired goal - a faster running space - more efficiently.
The right exercise program should also be tailored towards your interests as much as your goals. This is because to remain motivated throughout the program you need to enjoy the exercise you are doing.
2. YOU'RE USING YOUR GYM TIME WISELY
We are all guilty of fluffing around at the gym from time to time. You know, those workouts where you sort of just dawdle between whatever machines are free, spend an obnoxious amount of time 'resting' between sets (scrolling on Instagram), and when you walk out the door, you think to yourself 'well, that was pointless!'
A lot of the time we do this because we went to the gym unprepared. Rookie error 101. Why? Because "a man without a plan is a man without direction".
If you have absolutely no idea what you're going to do during your workout, then chances are your workout is going to be pretty average. Having a gym program gives you the structure and direction needed to succeed. It ensures that for the next 4 - 12 weeks that your training has been carefully thought out, with a clear purpose in mind.
3. HELPS TO INCREASE YOUR WORKOUT MOTIVATION
To be completely honest, sticking to an effective exercise routine is more about consistency than it is motivation, however staying motivated tends to be a lot easier when we have a plan in motion.
As we mentioned before, having a goal in the gym is great, but having a plan on how to attack that goal is even better.
When you have a workout program you'll feel determined to see it through. This is because you've just given your gym ambitions a stronger meaning. It helps you feel more accountable towards your goals, making you less likely to skip a session.
4. ALLOWS YOU TO EASILY TRACK YOUR GAINS
Every exercise program should incorporate progressive overload. These are small, gradual increases to the intensity of your workouts, implemented to help you advance in your training.
By writing these incremental changes into your workout plan you're ensuring that you are continually pushing, growing, and making gains in the gym. It also makes it much, much easier to track your progress, as you're writing down and monitoring whether you went harder than the week before.
For example, with a gym program you might have 3 X 5 60KG deadlifts in your program for week 1 and 3 X 5 62KG deadlifts in your program for week 2. If you are successful in completing both these exercises then you know you've just made improvements from the week before.
Progressive overload can be added to a training program by increasing the amount of weight you push, the number of reps or sets you do, reducing rest times, or extending the length of your session.
Hot tip: make sure you do not overexert yourself. The key take away from this is that SMALL increases to the intensity of your training should be added to your program, not big. You cannot expect to lift 40kg one week and 70kg the next.
We hope this has cleared up how important it is to have a gym program! For any more tips or tricks, feel free to contact our team or drop a comment below!