Last week I talked about the benefits of strength training, and why we want to be doing it.
This week I am going to go over the formula for creating a strength training schedule that fits into your lifestyle, and gets you results!
Here are my 3 best tips:
Consider the time you have available!
Let’s get real, this isn’t always static. Some weeks are busier than others and that’s just a part of life. One of my best tips for success is the ability to adapt (as we are asking our body to do) and remain fluid. The lower our stress is, the better results we’re going to get.
When setting schedules with clients I ask them to do 3 things: Pick out their ideal schedule whether it’s 3 20 minute sessions, 2 30 minute sessions, or even 5 10-15 minute sessions. Write out what it would be if everything works according to plan for the week. THEN choose the next best options. Mama’s, ideal isn’t already realistic! My most successful clients have a next best option. If ideal doesn’t pan out, we already know EXACTLY where to go! This breeds consistency, and motivation. Because feelings of success is what revs that motivation engine! And then the 3rd thing I ask them to do is create a last ditch effort plan.
We don’t necessarily want to plan to fail at our plan, but again having a last ditch effort plan can be the difference in getting something in and saying f-it.
Resist the urge to create these huge ass goals! Be realistic with the time you have available and use it well.
Set goals that meet you where you are.
One of the biggest mistakes I see are over ambitious goals. Don’t get me wrong, I am an ambitious woman, and love to meet others, but you can be a goal-getter while being realistic.
When beginning a new program we are quick to over estimate not only our abilities, but our time as well. This leads to workouts that take longer and are more intense than we can keep up with. This is a big reason that people quit.
So my tip is to be vulnerable and deeply honest with where you are at right now. If you’re a beginner, a couple of days per week of moderate exercise is probably perfect. No more than 30 minutes. If you are more advanced, you may need more frequent or higher intensity workouts.
Know your optimal AND minimal effective doses.
This is simple, but not easy. Based on what your goals are (muscle gain, fat loss, endurance etc) it’s important to know what the bare minimum is that you have to do in order to achieve the desired effect AND what is optimal.
It probably goes without saying but the minimum is something that WILL get your there, it’s just a longer path.
How do you figure this out? Well… it’s a little bit of an experiment, but here are some things that will always be true:
- You’re sleeping regularly and well
- Your hunger and cravings are managed
- Energy is stable
- Mood is stable
- Cycle is regular
- AND YOU STILL ARE ABLE TO ENJOY ACTIVITIES OUTSIDE OF EXERCISE.
If any of the above are disrupted it’s important feedback. It means we’re either over exercising, or under exercising (or our nutrition is not balanced with our activity level).
Again, there are shorter-cuts and longer cuts. The shortest cut to learning minimal and optimal is working with an experienced coach to help you with a proven path and to help you interpret your own data.
The longer way is to experiment. Starting small, and slow making 1 adjustment at a time and tracking.
Things to consider tracking would be energy intake (food), energy output (purposeful exercise), mood, energy, cycle and sleep.
So to wrap up, the best training schedule is one that:
Works with your available time
Meets you where you are
Yields results based on your minimal or optimal effective dose!