How To Choose The Right Training Program

Patient doing core exercises and demonstrating women weightlifting

Last week we talked about deciding between physical therapy or a strength training program.  We know there are a lot of different options when browsing the market for training programs.  Some come with world renowned trainers, others with tons of great reviews!  So which one do you choose?  There are many factors, so let’s walk you through what we consider to be the most important ones.  

Even though having a famous trainer with studded 5 star reviews might seem cool, that doesn’t mean it’s the program for you.  Oftentimes the fitness pipedream being sold doesn’t align with your personal needs.  When choosing a program there are 3 big points to consider.  What is your goal, where am I on the fitness scale, and which type of program should I be looking for?

Set Your Goal

This first two parts of the process involves some reflection.  What is your goal?  Get stronger?  Faster?  General overall improvement?  Forming a plan and setting realistic goals for yourself can be challenging but fun!  It’s that time of year when a lot of people take a dive into making a commitment for self improvement.  When we get it in our minds that we want something, a lot of times we want it to happen overnight!  Realistically that isn’t how it works.  For our bodies to show a real change we need to stick to something for at least 4 weeks.  That will only be the start of our change, so make sure you are prepared for the long haul if you’re looking for dramatic results!

Make sure when you’re setting up your goal you factor in smaller achievements along the way.  Let’s say you want to increase your squat weight by 25% in 3 months.  You should have smaller goals and mile markers leading up to that end result to help keep your spirits up and eyes on the prize!

Dr. John doing a training program containing bodyweight exercise

Be Honest With Yourself

The second thing to consider is where you are physically.  Sometimes the hardest part, you need to have a candid look at where you are in your fitness journey.  Have you been living a more active lifestyle?  If so, then you’re probably already primed for a more moderate level program.  This way you can continue challenging yourself to push to the next level.  If you’ve been more relaxed and not quite as active, you’re going to want to start smaller.  A lower level more introductory program would probably suit you best. 

Like training to run a marathon, the first day you go running you shouldn’t push yourself until you drop.  Not only will you get down on yourself because of not achieving your goal, but you’ll quit before it starts.  Plus, let’s not forget the high likelihood of injury due to pushing your body to extremes on day 2 or 3.  We want you to be successful!  You need to pace yourself.  Many times when we make these types of commitments, we don’t realize how long it will take to get to where we want to go.  If you start something and realize it isn’t quite where you need to be, you can always challenge yourself by increasing the weights, reps, etc.  You don’t want to go full steam into something your body isn’t ready for.

Choose Your Training Program

Last but not least, it’s time for part 3!  Choosing the type of program.  When I say type we are also talking about appropriateness of the program or the style.  If you are looking for general strength you probably don’t need to be doing crazy powerlifts.  It would be a bit more than what you’re looking for and realistically hard for you to keep up with.  Remember, we are looking for something that we want to do.  Even look forward to, so we can keep it going for a while to see some results!  A program that might fit your needs a little better would be something that uses lighter dumbbells or intuitive bodyweight exercises.

Dr. Chloe strengthening her upper back

A little Extra Consideration

A bonus factor to take into account is a training program that is well rounded.  Just because you want to get stronger doesn’t mean you should only do strengthening exercises and forget about your mobility.  In an earlier blog we talked about how short muscles don’t work as efficiently.  Not having full extention of the muscle will result in less power.  The same goes if you are already suffering from limited mobility.  You won’t be able to increase your strength if your mobility gets worse. 

Now that you have a good understanding of what to look for in a training program, it’s time to do the work.  Whether you’re a fitness junkie or a first timer, taking the time to assess your needs is how you will see the most success.  Be patient and stick to it so you can ultimately achieve your goals!

If you’re looking to start a general overall fitness program, you don’t need to look too far from home.  Here at Mobility-Doc we offer MDFit programs that provide work-outs 3X a week.  If you trust us with your rehabilitation, you can trust us to help you push past your baseline of overall fitness.  Join MDFit today with a free week trial!

If you’re looking for a great entry level hip hinge to begin building your foundation, try these 2 Leg Romanian Dead Lift’s (RDL’s) – if this is easy take a look at A-symmetrical RDL’s or Single Leg RDL’s!

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