What makes a Successful Training Program

posted Feb 6, 2018, 4:33 PM by Rebecca Smith
When starting out with a new training program, many clients have the best intentions for success and will jump into training with little to no knowledge regarding training and training principles. There are many tips that when put in place will help a new or an exisiting client with adherence to training and therefore, reaching their goal whatever that may be.


A tip i will always give my new clients is to set a measurable goal, whether it is training one day a week or losing 1 kg per week, whatever the goal, this needs to be measurable, something that can be achievable and be repeated week on week. By setting a measurable goal it helps keep motivation levels at a high level and will assist in the long term success of your training journey. In adding to that, everyone loves when a goal has been reached and it helps with self-confidence and that feel good feeling will help keep the client on track.


Another major tip when training is in regards to exercise choices you make and how you progress them and also how long a program can last for, for your body to still achieve results. When starting in the gym it is obviously not the best idea to jump straight in the deep end and start lifting heavy weights without correct technique and programming. When starting a new program it is important to have a fitness professional be present to watch and help coach you through the prescribed exercise. By having this professional with you it will help iron out any creases in regards to technique, what is achievable and also, any questions that may arise.


In regards to an actual program and the exercises it is important to understand fundamental basics such as progressive overload and getting deeper into programming, such as undulating periodisation. With progressive overload it is important not to chop and change between exercises because there will be no benefit from changing between exercises from one training day to the next. I recommend staying on a program for around 4-6 weeks as this allows for true results to be seen, throughout this time period you can change variables such as rest breaks, amount of receptions, amount of sets and of course, the weight. By manipulating these variables it allows for adaptation to occur, rather then just a standard 4 sets of 10 repetitions per exercises for all the exercises, by changing the stimulus the body and muscle endure, it will allow for change to occur, for instance weight loss, hypertrophy or strength depending on the client and their goal.


This ties in well with setting a measurable goal, this means being consistent in the training and the amount of days training, hours spent training, the nutrition aspect also. Consistency is important, everyone has good intentions of attending the gym and exercising, until the time where your body is too sore or you’re too tired because you’ve overtrained those 5/6 times in the gym that week. By setting a realistic goal by saying you’ll attend the gym 2/3 times per week for 6 months is better then attending the gym 5.6 times for one month, you need to realise this is a lifestyle change and by changing everything at once can be problematic, you need to ease yourself in and it may take months until you’re ready for that extra day of training.


The nutrition you undertake while starting an exercise program can be the difference between being successful and failing, nutrients are the driving force behind all bodily functions which means we need to meet those requirements in order to be active and achieve results. The tricky thing in regards to nutrition is that you need to be able to sustain this long term, while restricting some foods will work for you, there is no guarantee it will work for another person, a high protein and low carbohydrate diet may work for you it may not. I could go on all day about different types of ‘diets’ out there, but the basic building blocks when talking about nutrition is calories. In order to lose body fat, you must eat in a calorie deficit, basically, consume less calories then you will burn throughout the 24 hour period.


Lastly, if you’re having fun, you are more likely to keep coming back and stick to the above principles which will in the long term provide you with good results whether it be lose of body fat, decreased % of fat etc. While you’re exercising and you’re having fun, you are likely to form a social bond with fellow clients and also trainers, these friendships that you form can also keep you on track and feel a sense of togetherness in the chase of that your ultimate goal and help motivate each other going forward in their lifestyle journey.