Training plans help athletes set goals and achieve them. Creating training plans from scratch can be difficult and potentially dangerous if you don’t have the proper background or athletic knowledge. Our fitness experts put together their top training plan tips so you can decide what training plan is best for you.
What is a training plan?
A training plan is a useful companion and guide on your journey to get fitness results. Are you looking for exercises to build a bigger butt or shape your abs? Whatever your goal is, your training plan should always be tailored to you and your expectations. When setting a goal, make sure that it is challenging, but still realistic. A goal you think you can achieve helps to keep you motivated.
Do you already have a fitness goal in mind? A workout routine is nothing more than a means to an end. It is geared towards your goal and is based on your current (physical) condition. Your 12-week training plan already has a clear picture of where you are going. It keeps presenting you with new challenges. But a good plan not only consists of a mix of exercises: It also includes useful tips on rest periods and intensity.
Practical Training Plan tips
There are a number of training principles that can help you reach your goals. Increase the effectiveness of your training with the following tips:
- The workout should push you – but not over the edge
Every training session should push you to your limits, but without overdoing it. If the intensity of your exercises is too low, you won’t see any results. But if the training stimulus is too high, it can even be harmful for your body. If you want to improve your performance, the training stimulus must be adjusted to your (current) physical condition.
- Think long-term
Progress doesn’t come overnight. Your muscles are not the only body parts that have to get used to regular training. Other body systems have to adjust to the increased activity, which takes time. In short, change doesn’t happen overnight. Be patient!
- Push yourself
To be successful in your training, you have to keep challenging your body. This doesn’t always mean doing more reps. You can add more weight, do an extra set or just simply be more focused and aware during your workout. The mind-muscle connection in itself can make a big difference.
- Listen to your body
The more personalized the plan, the better. Don’t keep overdoing it, and remember that nobody knows you better than yourself. Does your resting heart rate increase significantly after you get up in the morning? Do you lack appetite and feel completely exhausted and unmotivated? Or does your heart rate barely decrease during the breaks between exercises? All of these can be signs that you are overtraining and that it is time for a rest day. So pay attention and don’t ignore the signs your body is giving you. A training plan is not set in stone. It can be modified and adjusted to fit your condition. Don’t get frustrated if once in a while you have to take it a little slower. The next time you’ll be able to achieve even more.
- Set realistic goals
No goals, no success: Clear goals help you keep up your motivation and enable you to monitor your progress.
- Mix it up
Sooner or later, doing the same thing over and over again will lead your performance to level off and you will cease to improve. You can break up this monotony by constantly mixing up your workouts. This doesn’t just mean including different exercises, but varying the intensity and rest periods between sets.
- Stick with it
Once doesn’t count: One training session is not going to produce any noticeable improvements. If you want to get the most out of your training, you need to keep repeating the exercises. Your body won’t start to adapt until you push it to and beyond its limits. This overload causes your body to adapt and helps you to reach the next level.
- Get the most out of each exercise
There’s a big difference between giving 50% or 100%. The more you throw yourself into your workout, the more you will get out of it.
- Give your body time to recover
Scheduling recovery time into your training program ensures a perfect balance of effort and recovery. Try to spread your training sessions throughout the week and plan your off days in advance. If the last training session was very intense and tiring, the next one should be more moderate, or you might even want to consider taking the day off.
- Training is just one piece of the puzzle
Training isn’t the only thing you need to reach your fitness goals. You also need a proper diet, as well as a mix of cool-down exercises, baths, massages, a good water and electrolyte balance, stretching and relaxation exercises and recovery periods. Until you put all the pieces together, you will never really see any major results.
How to plan a session
Every training plan consists of a number of elements put into a systematic order. Imagine that each training session is a piece of a puzzle: Like a jigsaw puzzle, all of the elements have to fit together, so in the end you can celebrate your success. There are times when it is tougher, and sometimes you have to try something new. But when everything is said and done, you’ll have reached your goal. Each training session should include the following three parts:
- Warm-up: Warming up helps you prepare mentally and physically for the workout. Plus, it reduces the risk of injury. Use simple exercises that you have done before and know well.
- Main activity: The main activity is the actual workout part of your training session. The goal is to increase or maintain your physical performance.
- Cool-down: The cool-down initiates and speeds up the recovery process.
If that all sounds too complicated, try one of the training plans in adidas Running or Training. They will help you set realistic goals and guide your training, tailored to your schedule, from start to finish.