Training gives direction to your workouts, making each individual session and component of those sessions, a complement to the others in the program.
Training takes into consideration what you really want to accomplish, who is trying to achieve it, how best to get it, and how long it takes to get there.
That is why personal training is an effective tool because you will follow a specific training program.
The training will often implement a framework in which detailed workouts are provided and take into consideration key concepts of successful programming, such as:
Specificity – Is your training specific to your goal?
Frequency – Are you training at the right frequency that provides the best grip, stimulation, and opportunity for recovery?
Progressive overload – Is the program progressively difficult each week?
Recovery – Are you getting adequate recovery to allow for adaptations?
Individualization – Does it take your individual needs into consideration?
For performance-related goals in particular, training is the best way to go.
Even for general goals like losing weight, a workout program will give you a solid plan to follow and allow you to gather data to adjust and find out what works as you go along.
Now, depending on your goals and how important the training is to you (i.e. if you are a competitive athlete), training is typically periodized into microcycles, mesocycles, and macrocycles.
However, these are beyond the scope of this article and deserve their own light in a separate article.
For the general population, I would suggest a 6-8 week gradual program with a planned discharge at the end, before fine-tuning, progressing and moving on to an additional 6-8 weeks.
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