For many adults, an Aston Martin is the best choice for driving long distance across the country. It's more fun. But it's much less economical, right? Just like in all athletic training programs, including marathon training schedules, effectiveness AND efficiency matter. But who wants to drive a Prius across country? Taxi drivers and retiring couples - that's who. A car enthusiast will still be driving and pouring money into their hobby. Likewise, an exercise that is fun but less effective at genuine movement or fitness goals is stuck with more than others.
So, drive an Aston, or a Prius? Program for fun or for fitness goals? Can you do both?
Well, an Aston Marton should never surrender what it's good at. A fun exercise program should never surrender the elements that drew people in to try it. But, the exercise program you choose should always be adaptable to change. (Maybe that's why luxury car makers are making hybrid and electric cars). And change requires adaptation. Adaptation requires stimulus and a receptive person. You need to get the receptive persons attention and you do that by breaking their pattern. That's why new training every 4-6 weeks allows you to keep improving, and an interesting, fun program is more important than the best program for a person who isn't enjoying it. PS: I set enough variation and days off in my interval training program to get results and keep you in the program.
So how do you get the right mix? That's the art of coaching. But here's some tips.
The answer lies in knowing your primary goal. Is the goal more likely to be still being in training after a couple of months? That is, is the goal closer to attendance, compliance and participation? Or have you got over the buy-in phase and are pushing for results? The former will require more fun. The latter will require tighter controls on stimulus, dosage, sets and reps, volume and intensity and frequency and nutrition and sleep and recovery and repeat! If you are programming tightly and your client is jaded, talk to them. Ask them whether they're enjoying it. I know, simple stuff. Who would have thought that sort of coach to client interaction was in fashion?! If you are programming loosely for the sake of fun and your client isn't getting results, you've possibly been erring too much on keeping it fun and not enough on getting the stimulus right.
What's the common sense approach? Keep clear in your mind that you CAN get results and that you HAVE gotten results. Keep clear in your mind that no result can occur if your client doesn't enjoy the program and work because they want to. Here's the balance. Imprint onto your client the training pattern that will create the result you agreed on. If that is mobility, then don't do a bunch of mobility work and then smash them with hypertrophy work to make them sore. If it's an improvement in aerobic running speed, then bulking up will negatively affect their power to weight ratio. If the result you agreed up on was getting to the end of 7 weeks and still enjoying the training, then daily beastings of monotony aren't going to have a high success rate.
If you're lucky enough to own an Aston, PM me for a ride, please and thank you.
Tags: Interval Training Program, Marathon Training Schedule, Athletic Training Programs