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Training Effectively – Having A Plan

This post forms part of the Training Effectively series.

So now you’re all set up with long term and short term goals you’re eager to hit the gym and start throwing some heavy objects around. Great!

But hold on for just one minute, or at least the two or three needed to read the rest of this post.

To ensure you meet goals and maximise the benefits of your training and diet you need a plan.

And your short term goals make ideal points of focus for you to plan around.

Let’s say your goal is to lose 8lbs in 4 weeks. You could just eat a bit less and hit the treadmill and hope for the best and sure that might work. Then again you might end up losing no weight at all or, just as bad, lose an unhealthy amount of weight. You could also burn yourself out from too much running and not enough rest.

Having a plan should prevent you from hitting these pitfalls.

Sounds obvious right? Maybe. But it’s amazing how many people don’t have a plan – and you can spot them in the gym quite easily. They’re the people milling around not quite sure where there going next and who you see there regularly but their body shape and / or fitness level never seems to change.

I like my plan to operate on two levels – big picture “today I’m going to eat 2500 calories and do my legs strength training in the gym” and detailed “these are the meals I am going to eat today giving me 200g protein etc. and I will do 4 sets of 8 reps of squats followed by…”.

I find both levels of the plan to be useful. Your big picture plan will help you plan out your week – legs Thursday, rest on Friday, shoulders and chest on Saturday etc. while your detailed plan will make sure you get the most from your diet or time spent in the gym.

In terms of building your plan – there are plenty of resources out there for doing this but personally I find a personal trainer takes the hassle out of it and means I’m getting the absolute most bang for my workout buck by using an expert leaving me to focus on putting the effort in. The trick is in finding a good personal trainer – as well as some great ones there are some truly awful ones out there. My handy guide may help!

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Categories: fitness
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  1. August 23, 2010 at 12:50 pm

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