The Importance of Following and Tracking Your Training Program
You’ve all probably heard it a thousand times, ‘Nutrition is the most important part.’ Now, I’m not arguing about that, Nutrition IS probably the most important thing, but what if your training is off? Will it be as effective as it could be?
Your Training Program will have been designed specifically for you, tailored to work on your weaknesses, and maintain your strengths. This is very important that you adhere to this in your off season to build up those weaknesses to bring out good symmetry. Sticking to your program to a tee in your off season also ensures you are growing lean muscle mass, improving your metabolic rate, which allows you to eat a higher calorie intake, in turn allowing for more food during your fat loss phase. To ensure you’re progressively improving, track your training. Write down the weights and repetitions you did for that day on the particular exercises you have structured on your program.
When training during a fat loss phase, it’s just as important. This will allow you to see if you’re losing, maintaining or even gaining strength during your fat loss phase, and how hard you’re still able to work. It gives a great indication of energy and strength levels, so your coach can adjust your nutrition guideline to suit. Don’t be worried if you are losing a little bit of strength during contest prep, as this is considered normal for most people. From experience, the first exercises to downgrade in strength is pressing. Sometimes you may also have to change your exercises to a lower impact exercise to account for the lower energy levels and decreased recovery. For example, you may swap your barbell bench press to a hammer strength chest press. Very similar exercise, however it’s less taxing on the joints. You may also change a squat to a hack squat. These are just a couple of examples.
Following and tracking your training will also take the guesswork out of what weights you need to do, in order to be working at maximum capacity. It’s also a great motivator, as you set yourself targets the week before, and each week have the opportunity to better them!
Just remember, if you’re not following a specific program that is structured specifically for you, based on your weaknesses, that is designed for progression and your needs only, you may just be shooting yourself in the foot come stage time. Stay accountable, stay consistent, and TRACK, TRACK, TRACK!
For questions regarding Contest Prep, Training and/or Nutrition, head over to the AWNBS members area, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.