A workout program is a plan you follow in effort to achieve a specific fitness goal. There comes a time where you should change it up.
This can be due to achieving your goals, becoming bored or you feel like that the program is just not working for you.
I am going to look at how you decide on a workout program. What to look for when you’re trying to decide and other factors that may or may not help you in achieving the goals you set out for yourself and set out by the workout program.
How To Decide On A Workout Program
There are factors that affect the program that you choose. For example, when I started working after graduating my degree, I had to follow workout that could be done in a short time but still effective in what I wanted to achieve, which was strength, fitness and fat loss for rugby.
The main factors that you should look at are:
- Who you are? The program should cater to your fitness level (beginner/intermediate/advanced) or be sport-specific/position-specific.
- What do you want to achieve? You want to train specifically for this goal.
- Why do you want to achieve it? I train to compete well in rugby and stay fit. Figure out why you want to achieve this goal, as this keeps you going on bad days.
- When do you want to achieve it? The program can be for a competition or to change your lifestyle habits, both have varying time periods to achieve them.
- How much time do you have to work towards your goals? Your schedule is important to understand, so that time isn’t an excuse and the program fits into it easily.
- Where will you be doing your workout program? You must ensure that you have the equipment and facilities required to make the most out of the program.
What To Look For When You Want To Get Stronger?
Workout programs that will help you get stronger usually contain a lot of compound exercises. Compound exercises work more than one muscle group therefore they’re more likely to build your overall strength and core strength.
A strength workout set will have about 5 sets where you go up to 5 reps max at 80% of your 1 rep max. Your rest periods will be between 2-5 minutes to achieve maximum effort in each set. This is what you see powerlifters do because they want to get as strong as possible.
Your will also see a similar set pattern with power exercises for the same reason, maximum effort on each set.
What to Look For When You Want To Build Muscle?
Muscle building, also known as hypertrophy will usually have a mix of compound exercises and isolation exercises, which focus on one specific muscle group.
The purpose of building muscle is to build strength in that muscle and size. The more micro-tears that muscle undergoes at a relatively heavy weight, the bigger the muscle will get.
This is why workout programs that are made for building muscle will have sets of 4-6 with reps ranging between 6-12 usually at 70% of your 1 rep max. Your rest periods usually go up to a maximum of 2 minutes, so that you don’t lose too much time from the muscle time under tension.
What If You’re Looking To Lose Fat?
There is no specific workout that is for losing fat. You can lose fat taking a walk every day for the rest of your life. You must be in calorie deficit when you want to lose fat, so look for workouts that will help you burn more calories.
The more intense the workout is, the more calories you will burn. Your intensity is dependent on how heavy you lift, how much rest you have between sets and days. The volume of reps and sets in the workout and how long the workout is increase the intensity of it.
It is important to mention that if your nutrition is not mostly nutritious and supporting a calorie deficit, you will not lose fat like you’d want to.
When Will A Workout Program Not Be Good For You?
It can be difficult to see if a workout program is working for you, because results take time. There are definite signs that the program is not for you though.
1. You Are Always In Pain During ANd After The Workout
I am not talking about Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS), but pain that makes it uncomfortable to do your every day activities. It comes from joints, ligaments and bones, not muscle.
2. It Is Too Intense For You
When you are constantly out of breath or unable to complete a set from the beginning, it’s usually not as effective. This means that the workout is too intense for you and can do more harm than good.
3. You Are Spending Too Much Time On It
Whether it is reading it and planning when you are going to do it or being inside the gym for hours, this takes away the purpose of the program. Unless you are looking to compete in a bodybuilding/bikini show, it shouldn’t be taking over your life, but just adding to it.
4. It Is Too Advanced For You
There are some workout programs that have exercises that you haven’t even heard of. This is because they are for someone that has heard of them and can do them, stay away from these ones.
When Is It A Good Time To Change Your Workout Program?
You start seeing results from your workout programs almost immediately, because your body reacts to the new forces you’ve introduced it to. These changes are usually short-lived, like a muscle pump, weight gain or weight loss.
After the first 4 weeks of the program, measure your progress and see where you can change it for better results. Do this for every 4 weeks for 12 weeks (3 months) and if from this point, the changes aren’t evident to someone else, take time to evaluate where you might’ve not been consistent.
If you cannot fault yourself in your evaluation, consider trying a new program. Use a program that you are comfortable with, can be patient and consistent with, as that’s what makes your results sustainable.
Looking Forward To A Workout Program That Will Get You Stronger And Help You Lose Fat?
Are you ready to take your strength to the next level? The 4 Week Strength Training Program is a great way to achieve these goals. Not only will you get stronger, but you will also burn more calories because of the type of exercises and the structure of the program.