I’m putting my Exercise Science hat back on today. Just for a moment. I may have to dust it off.
Notice that the title of today’s post is not ‘The best exercise program’ but rather ‘Your best exercise program’? That’s because your best program will be unique to you, as the only person who has your physiology, current fitness level, exercise history, injuries, medical issues and goals (as an overall combination), is you. As I’ve said before, there is no global best program (despite what some people might suggest) because just like medicine, your ideal exercise program, should be the result of a personal prescription based on your individual needs and wants.
1. As suggested above, if your exercise goals revolve around your desire to change your physiology (appearance, function) as opposed to maintaining your current state, then ensure that your program is designed specifically for you (not your friend, sister or a bloke you saw on TV) based on the relevant variables such as training background, injuries, medical issues, genetics, age, fitness level, goals, likes, dislikes, time availability, resources and lifestyle.
2. Pay attention to your body and your results. Regarding your exercise program, your body will always tell you what’s working and what’s not as it’s constantly providing you with valuable bio-feedback. In some ways, finding your best program will be an on-going process of intelligent trial and error. The best way to track progress over time is to record results via photos, regular testing and an exercise diary. The beauty of objective data is that it allows us to de-emotionalise the process and objectively evaluate the efficacy of our program.
3. Progression and variety. Irrespective of your individuality, these two variables are universally relevant for anyone looking to create on-going physical change. A program with no variety or progression is a program that will produce little or no adaptation. Too many people opt for the familiar and comfortable workout and then wonder why their body looks, feels and functions like it did a year ago.
Yep, bodies are amazing things. And so are the people who inhabit them.
As you digest today’s brief post, consider the fact that, not only do different programs (approaches, methods) work for different people, but also that different programs work for the same people over time. For example, my ideal program at forty nine is not the same as it was at thirty nine and definitely not the same as it was at nineteen. Fortunately, as I get older my body keeps teaching me new things.
It’s my job to keep learning and to pay attention.