Train for the results you want!

Kayaker - MSWhat does that mean?  If you want to improve strength, do a strength building program.  If you want cardio benefits, do a cardio building program, If you want to improve joint balance, do a joint balancing program. This applies no matter what goals you have: flexibility; endurance; skill specific; joint integrity; etc.

How do I know if I have the right program for my goals?

Measure!  Test the parameter you want to improve.  Recheck it on a regular basis.  Depending on what factor you want to improve, you might be retesting every week.  Most programs that are obtaining success should result in measurable improvements every 4-6 weeks.

Some parameters may be difficult to test.  For example, how do you measure your endurance capacity?  There are so many variables.  Have you been building the right type of muscle fibers? Are you building new capillaries? Red blood cells?  How is your carbohydrate storage capacity?  Are you looking to improve endurance for specific muscles or systemically?

PulseFor those parameters that are more difficult to test directly, you can sometimes monitor progress by looking at the training loads you are able to accommodate.  In other words, does your exercise program incorporate the idea of progressive increases of the factor you wish to improve?  For example, if your goal is to strengthen muscles, your exercise program must take into account increasing weights.  If you are looking to improve your endurance, your program must include progressive increases in the length of the exercise sessions.

For example, if you want to improve your muscle strength, and your exercise program has you lifting the same amount of weight, for the same number of repetitions, for the same number of days per week, you don’t have a good strength building program.  Here is an essential component of an effective strength building program for the biceps.
Start: Arm curls – 10 lbs., 10 reps., 3 days per week
Each week: Add 5 more pounds, same number of reps, same number of days per week  i.e. Week 2 @ 15 lb.      Week 3 @ 20 lbs.      Week 4@ 25 lbs.

Man studying street mapIf you want to successfully reach your goal, I find the following concept helpful.

  • Where are you?
  • Where do you want to be?
  • How do you get there?

With people I have worked with in the past, there usually not any difficulty finding exercise programs (how do you get there). A fair number of people have not considered their exercise options and clearly defined what goals they want to achieve (where do you want to be). What  seems to cause the greatest difficulty is knowing where you are, or what are your current capabilities.  Regarding individual muscle strength and joint imbalance issues, you can learn how to monitor individual muscle strength and imbalances through courses offered by the DxF.

Leave a Reply