When you’re selecting a new training program or workout to follow, are you looking at those options with a critical eye?
The reality is, there is a lot of garbage out there regarding fitness and strength training programs. The barrier to entry in the fitness space is nearly invisbile as literally anyone can post “expert” or “trainer” on their Instagram bio and start selling you programs.
It’s up to you, the consumer, to start looking at these so-called experts and their programs with a more critical and discerning eye. Having a great body and posting a million Instagram workouts with odd angles of one’s butt or abs does not qualify someone as a coach, trainer, or expert.
There is no exact formula to help you qualify someone’s programs, but to put it simply, workouts should be efficient, challenging, enjoyable, and add to the quality of your life.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Four Signs Your Workout Program is Gold
EFFICIENCY: You can get results doing 30, 45, or 60 minutes, 3-6 days a week. Your choice! It’s not about the duration so much as what you’re doing in that timeframe.
There should be movement prep, a dynamic warmup that mirrors what your workout is that day, mobility work, great quality movement from start to finish, and progressive overload. And yes, you can do all that in 60 minutes or less. The only exceptions are competition training. When you’re prepping for a weightlifting or powerlifting meet, the rules of the game change because training will revolve around meet preparation and winning.
CHALLENGE: Physically and mentally, are you pushing yourself a little each time you train? Is your program helping you do that? You don’t have to go hard until you puke, but as strength coach Tony Gentilcore says, lifting weights is not supposed to tickle either.
Yes, your workouts should challenge you. Sometimes, it might destroy you (hey, it happens!), but overall it should be reasonably challenging. Complacency will destroy you. Choose what gets you uncomfortable, challenged, and moving forward.
QUALITY OF LIFE: What’s the carryover? If your workouts are just about looking cute but you can’t function in every day life, move furniture, play a game of volleyball, go up the stairs without losing your breathe, then you’re doing it wrong.
There is a lot of unsexy shit that goes down in a strength training program that contributes to your quality of life. Things like farmer’s carries to help you brace and stabilize your core, performance care for your joints and tendons, single leg or single arm work to address imbalances…all of it adds up to enhance the quality of your life for the future.
ENJOYMENT: Sometimes lifts feel like poop, the bar feels too heavy, and you’re Just. Not. Into. It.
At the end of the day, are you enjoying what you do? Is there an aspect that you like or look forward to?
It’s normal to hate training when you first start out. It’s normal to loathe doing the exercises you suck at. It’s perfectly normal to hate your trainer sometimes (we don’t do this to make you like us!). But…but…but….can you find what you do like?
Savor the joy in your workouts, from the PRs to new exercises, there’s a lot of joy in lifting. If you can’t find a single thing about your program that you enjoy, it’s time to move on.
When I started BarbellPilates.com and my 1:1 coaching programs inside BarbellSTRONG coaching (aka BSC), my goal was to provide women like you with strength training education and programs that are efficient, challenging, enjoyable, and add to your life. We also improve your figure and build nice booties within BSC, but these four major elements are the core of every program I write for my ladies.
Now over to you – What do you love about the training program you’re on right now? Comment below!