Let's face it - there is A LOT of information about fitness. It's easy to get lost in the shuffle of input. Sometimes you may be wondering if the things you're doing (or your trainer is having you do) is working. Look no further! In this post, I'm touching on the pillars of what makes the most effective training programs.
These pillars are agility/flexibility, strength and stabilization, and power. Let's look at each category and access WHY it's important to make the best training program.
Sometimes we think if we're in a certain age range we don't need to worry about things like agility, flexibility, and balance. They are unique on their own but they share the commonality of recruiting smaller muscles and our cognitive resources.
Depending on your current level of fitness, you may be doing more of these things than if you are a seasoned pro, but if your training program is not having you work on these facets, you are missing a crucial part of your training which can lead to imbalances and even injury.
Examples of agility are speed drills, hurdles, ladder drills, or other exercises that test your quickness.
Flexibility is something that should absolutely be in every single training session. Flexibility can also stand for stretching - how many of us skip our stretch sessions before and after workouts? We rush to get started and we rush to get finished. Before every workout, dynamic warmups (exercises similar to what you'll be doing in your workout + getting your heart rate up) are a must while finishing your session may be a combination of static (held) stretches and/or yoga like stretches.
Think of these 3 as the skeleton of your body.
Strength and Stabilization
This is often the phase of training we see as the "meat" in the skeleton. This is where we get to put in the hard work, see big results, and feel strong.
Strength is our resistance training exercises - bodyweight and with dumbbells/bars/kettlebells, etc. This is where we get to pick up those weights and create muscle mass, blast fat, and build stronger bones just to name a few.
Stabilization is essentially balance training. This could be as simple as learning to balance on one foot for an extended period of time, planks, bird dogs, or any version of a progressed balance and strength exercise like stability ball pushups or single leg deadlifts. Balance and stabilization is absolutely a necessity. Your program should be building upon your progress. If you head straight into a single leg bicep curl before you've mastered balancing on one leg on and off a stable surface, you will have a harder time executing the exercise.
Remember, you must have a complete skeleton to be a fully functioning human!
Last, but not least, is power. Some of you may read this and think, "I'm not an athlete - I'm just a normal person! Why do I need power training?" Power training sometimes gets a stigma of being for athletes or bodybuilders only, but power training is for everyone. Power training is for busy moms who want to run after their children and feel strong and not out of breath. Power training is for seniors who want to improve their overall quality of life and reduce their risk of fall. Power training is for career focused individuals who want to have a strong body and mind connection. Power training is also where we recruit our fast-twitch (Type 2) fibers that make us fast, help us react quickly, and burn the most fat. If you've done a superset, you're power training.
If you have any questions, please drop me a note and I will be happy to answer it!