Search
  • Ben

Training Practicality

Well this sure is an exciting topic! Okay, whilst it may not be the most thrilling topic in the fitness industry it’s arguably one of the most important. This is because you could have all the best most expensive running gear, you could have an expensive gym membership, have a training programme, diet plan, everything you could be all set to smash all of your fitness goals and then………. Bang – it all comes crashing down and fails! Why?


In my experience the biggest reason people fail with their fitness goals is they didn’t take into account training practicality! At the simplest level training practicality is just how the training fits into YOUR personal lifestyle. If your friend who has lost a bunch of weight has done it all doing a HIIT class 3 days a week at 7:00pm but you often get held up at work until 7pm at least 50% of the time, then using this as your chosen method of fitness success is likely not sustainable! One of the key points with training practicality is that the training has to suit you! Just because something worked for someone else doesn’t mean it will work for you, both of you will have different lifestyles, different time availability, different commitments and different bodies.


How the training will fit into your lifestyle is just as important as the training itself, if it doesn’t fit – it won’t work.


These 5 questions help broadly cover some of the key areas in which the exercise must fit:


1. What are your main goals?

2. How much time do you have available for exercise?

3. How many times per week can you exercise?

4. Do injuries prevent you doing any particular types of exercise?

5. Are there any types of exercise you absolutely hate?



1. What are your main goals?

If the exercise doesn’t match up to helping you achieve your goals, you will likely just find yourself frustrated and losing interest in the process quickly you aren’t moving closer to where you want to be!


2. How much time do you have available for exercise?

If you have 1 hour available to exercise scheduling 2 hours of exercise wont work (sounds obvious right? Well trust me I’ve seen many people forget this fact when they try to plan out their exercise for the week)

Additionally, if you have limited time to exercise, then exercise selection becomes very important, if your main goal is weight loss and you have only 30 minutes then spending 5 minutes stretching probably isn’t the most efficient way you could have spent that time. The less time you have the more valuable each minute becomes!


3. How many times per week can you exercise?

‘CAN YOU’ is the key phrase, not ‘want to’ or ‘like to’ but CAN YOU! I know this sounds obvious but the amount of people who when I first meet them go “I would like to train 5 days per week, but probably more realistically 3, but definitely I’d be able to make 2 or 100% at least 1” So suddenly in the space of 60 seconds we have gone from 5 days a week down to 1 or 2! It is important to just be honest with yourself with how many times a week you could exercise, if it is 3 that’s absolutely fine we would just structure the training differently than if you said 5. But it is important to be honest from the start, set a number of days per week you will workout and then stick to it!


4. Do injuries prevent you doing any particular types of exercise?

If you have joint problems then high impact forms of training including running can be problematic, so can heavy weight lifting or explosive movements. Does this mean that anyone who has ever had an injury should just purchase a nice comfortable arm chair, put their legs up and throw away all their gym clothes? No, definitely not – they may have to make adjustments and smart training decisions such as longer warm ups avoiding certain movements, doing exercises that work with the injury and promote recovery instead of aggravating the problem but for the large majority of cases injuries present an obstacle to your fitness goals not a death sentence!


5. Are there any types of exercise you absolutely hate?

If you hate running, then don’t run. If the thought of lifting weights just puts you off completely then that is completely fine too. Everyone has foods they don’t like, it doesn’t mean you just outright swear off food and resign yourself to live out your days in starvation. No you just avoid that food then eat the rest as normal. Exercise is no different, no one likes everything but virtually everyone likes (or at least doesn’t mind) something. Trying to force yourself to do a type of exercise that you hate is just going to make you miserable and turn the process into a huge uphill battle. When I start training a new client or write a training plan for someone one of the first questions I ask is; “is there any type of exercise you really can’t stand”. If you do the fitness journey process right then you should feel both physical and mental health benefits and in my opinion forcing yourself to do something you hate doesn’t fit very well into that aim!



Next weeks topic – The 4 Pillars