6 Components of an Effective Training Program
Updated: Dec 2, 2022
A well-rounded training program should improve your client's overall fitness level by developing balance, stability, strength, endurance, and flexibility. It should include warm-up, strength training, cardio, flexibility and mobility, and cool-down exercises to achieve all these goals. Below we will discuss different components of a well-rounded training program.
The warm-up stage is the preparation of the body for vigorous exercise. The warm-up consists of short bouts of aerobic exercise to prepare the body for training. The warm-up raises the body temperature, which allows molecule and muscle expansion. Additionally, it improves the neurological and vascular function of the muscle groups. It also assists with flexibility, which helps to achieve a full range of motion and more effortless movement during exercise. It also ensures safety within the strength training portion of the session, as muscles will be primed appropriately for the activity. A typical warm-up could include low-intensity movements like walking, jogging, or cardio on elliptical machines, rowers, bikes, treadmills, etc., and dynamic stretching.
The Strength training stage is when there is some form of weight or resistance when performing exercises. This resistance can include using one's body weight, free weights, machines, or resistance bands. Strength training is beneficial as it improves bone density and body mechanics, which is crucial as individuals age and lose mobility and balance. The goal is to build muscle and strength to improve sports performance, prevent new injuries, treat old injuries, or enhance physical appearance.
The core is the central point of the body. It supports and stabilizes the body so one can move in any direction while maintaining proper balance. Core strength is of utmost importance in a training program to have a healthy and mobile body. A weak core makes it impossible to maintain functional strength, making everyday activities more difficult. Additionally, it can cause bad posture, back pain, and injuries. Some exercises to improve core strength are planks, side planks, crunches, toe taps, bird dogs, and bicycle crunches.
In today's culture, many are drawn to lower body exercises because of the aesthetic benefits. However, the lower body holds some of our largest muscles and enables a significant portion of our daily movement. Lower body strength training is valuable because it helps maintain strength and function, improves agility, and corrects and prevents imbalances around joints like the knee, which can be vulnerable to injury. Lower body strength training can incorporate different modalities, like free weights, resistance bands, and machines. Some exercises for the lower body are squats, lunges, glute bridges, calf raises, etc.
Like the lower body, upper body strength is essential for functional strength. Maintenance of upper body strength is crucial for fine motor skills and muscle mass retention, making it easier to perform daily activities, like lifting or throwing objects, as we age.
In addition to the functional benefits, strength training also improves sports performance by improving power, endurance, speed, agility, coordination, balance, etc., and it helps protect the body from injuries. Strength training results in a stronger, more conditioned body that is well-adapted to the demands of sports.
Cardio training is beneficial for weight loss and cardiorespiratory training. This portion of a workout program is simply 20 to 30 minutes of aerobic exercise to strengthen the heart, improve lung capacity, increase stamina, and burn excess body fat. Additionally, cardio training naturally boosts energy and mood. Some cardio training exercises include burpees, jump rope, swimming, cycling, rowing, and sprinting.
Flexibility and Mobility Training
Flexibility and mobility training will enable you to move better, perform daily activities more efficiently, and reduce or prevent injury. Flexibility is the range of motion in a joint or group of joints. Light stretching before strength training and cardio allows for greater ease and range of movement, more efficient blood and oxygen flow, and safer exercise execution. Additionally, incorporating flexibility training in workout programs aids in recovery, promotes circulation, ease of movement (mobility), and neurological efficiency, reduces the chances of injury, eases the pressure on the spine and major joints, and helps you feel and move better.
Training programs must involve a mobility component. Mobility is the ease of motion in a specific range of movement. Regular mobility training will increase the client's mobility, enabling them to execute functional tasks more efficiently. Like flexibility, mobility can help reduce the chances of injury. Moreover, it can contribute to increased strength, better posture, reduced lower back pain, and lower stress levels.